Primary care systems supplier EMIS has said that is confident that EMIS products and services will be available “working via LSPs alongside the NPfIT” in at least three of the five clusters of the national programme. 

The company has issued no details of the nature of the agreements it expects to reach with the three LSPs, which LSPs they are, or when it anticipates concluding agreements.  However its statement does refer to “revised contracts”, presumably substantially different from the ones it refused to sign in January.

“The nature of the revised contracts allows EMIS to continue to serve our customers whilst at the same time meeting the service levels required by the national programme.”  Whether this will mean that EMIS solutions will be funded by LSPs remains to be seen

On the thorny question of exactly what “choice of practice systems” means in the eyes of the national programme and its LSP suppliers, the EMIS statement notes that Richard Granger, director general for the NPfIT is reported to have written to all LSPs to make clear that GPs must have a choice over which system they use, as long as it complies with NHS needs.

As previously reported on E-Health Insider, industry sources strongly suggest that agreements are likely to be reached with Accenture in the North East and Eastern clusters and CSC in the North West and West Midlands cluster.

The three clusters in question are understood to be currently offering Torex Synergy as their main clinical application for primary care, ahead of iSOFT’s Lorenzo product suite becoming available.    

The EMIS statement also stressed the firm’s commitment to meeting the NHS requirements for accreditation of primary care software, and stating the company will ensure its software “is compliant with all current and future NPfIT requirements”.  The firm says that it is working towards spine compliance.*

The statement goes on to spell out EMIS’s involvement in many of the major strands of work connected with the national programme at this stage. “Software development is continuing in line with NPfIT timescales to ensure that systems deployed across the whole EMIS customer base will be compliant.”

EMIS is, for instance, involved with the various early adopter sites for the Electronic Bookings Service (EBS), due to go begin this summer. 

In addition, the firm says it is also working on electronic referrals using the EBS; personal smart card authentication using the national security broker service; data spine postings of prescriptions; and the Quality and Management Analysis System (QMAS) electronic reporting for nGMS contract payments.

* Editors note – an earlier version of this news item inaccurately reported that EMIS had already achieved stages 1 and 2 NPfIT compliance, EHI apologises for the error.