NHS Connecting for Health is to roll out GP2GP record transfer to another 500 practices by the end of March next year.

CfH has signed a contract with GP computer supplier EMIS to install its software and carry out training for 250 EMIS practices by the end of the year and a further 250 practices by the end of March.

Sean Riddell, managing director of EMIS, said he hoped a rollout to the rest of EMIS’ 5000 plus practices in England would start from early next year.

Riddell told EHI Primary Care: “We are delighted because GP2GP gives real clinical benefit and saves an awful lot of time for practices as well as getting rid of the transcription errors that occur when things have to be inputted manually.”

Riddell said GP2GP record transfers between EMIS practices would include attachments because the vast majority of EMIS practices held attachments within the patients’ records rather than holding external attachments which are to be the subject of further work.

The contract with EMIS is for the roll out of version 1.0 of GP2GP which covers the transfer of records between practices with the same system. For example EMIS to EMIS transfers or transfers between practices using InPs’s Vision system.

Version 1.1 of GP2GP, covering transferring between different systems, is to begin testing next month in Croydon with a pilot involving EMIS and InPs.

EMIS and InPs are the only GP system suppliers who have so far been involved in pilot testing for GP2GP. EMIS has been taking part in the first pilot of GP2GP in Gateshead since last autumn and InPS has been running a pilot on the Isle of Wight since February.

A spokesman for iSoft told EHI Primary Care that iSoft’s GP2GP version 1.1 is in beta testing currently with plans to make it available to customers in the first quarter of 2007. “A decision about the pilot site will be announced shortly,” he added.

GP2GP record transfer is generally seen as topping GPs’ wish lists from CfH. A presentation from CfH to the British Computer Society’s Primary Health Care Specialist Group conference earlier this month heard that results were very good for sending records from one system to another of the same make, “pretty good” for sending from EMIS to InPs or vice versa but “not very impressive” when records are sent away and then returned, for example for a university student. This is because the original practice retains a copy of the leaver’s record which is still there when the record comes back amended by the second practice.