Extension agreed for current GPSoC arrangements

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Thousands of GP practices around the country that have benefited from having their clinical IT systems provided under GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) will now enjoy continuity of provision as a result of an extension to the current GPSoC arrangements.

GPSoC has successfully delivered a flexible mechanism for contracting for GP clinical IT systems in GP practices since 2007 and 81 per cent of practices currently use a system provided through the framework.

GP clinical IT systems are key to collecting and sharing patient data to support clinical care. They also provide access to national services including Choose and Book, the Electronic Prescription Service, Summary Care Records and GP2GP electronic transfer of patient records.

The extension was arranged by the GPSoC team, now part of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). As well as being the trusted source of data and information relating to health and care, HSCIC supports the delivery of IT infrastructure, information systems and standards to ensure information flows efficiently and securely across the health and social care system to improve patient outcomes. The HSCIC was established as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body on 1st April.

In addition to working on the extension, the GPSoC team has also been consulting widely with both GP representatives and the supplier community on new contracting arrangements to support the delivery of GP clinical IT systems in the future. NHS England is also heavily involved in this work, as the new sponsor of GPSoC.

The planned replacement GPSoC framework is dependent on receipt of the necessary approvals from the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury. If approved, it is likely to lead to a substantial expansion in the number of suppliers involved in GPSoC. It will also introduce improvements in how the systems of ‘subsidiary’ suppliers interface with those of the ‘principal’ GP clinical IT system suppliers.

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