GP representatives have approved plans to rollout GP2GP record transfer between practices using the same system which they say could make GP2GP widely available for some system users by the end of the year.

The British Medical Association’s General Practitioner Committee last week debated whether incremental versions of GP2GP should be implemented as they become available or whether the professions should wait until transfers between all systems have been piloted and approved.

Dr Paul Cundy, chairman of the GPC’s IT sub-committee , said the complexity of achieving transfers between different systems and the inevitable slippage in projects had persuaded the committee that it would be better for GPs to take advantage of transfers between practices with the same systems as soon as possible.

He told EHI Primary Care: "For EMIS users it could be widespread by the end of the year with In Practice Systems following shortly after that."

GP2GP testing started between EMIS practices late last year and In Practice Systems began testing transfers between eight InPs practices on the Isle of Wight last month. Transfers from EMIS to InPs and vice versa is being piloted later this year with transfers between these systems and soft due to follow in early 2007.

In its monthly newsletter to local medical committees this week the GPC writes: "Each of these developments will result in changes, revisions and refinements. During this iterative process things will change, the eventual Any system to Any system process may look and feel very different from those currently in place."

The letter adds: "After a debate, the GPC has supported the incremental system as the committee wants the profession to benefit from GP2GP transfer as soon as it becomes available."