GP Systems of Choice procurement on track but late

  • 23 January 2007

The GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) scheme looks likely to go ahead – although procurement will not be complete by 1 April as originally planned.

A spokesperson for CfH told EHI Primary Care that the GPSoC business case was approved by the Department of Health in December 2006. Approval from the Treasury is still outstanding but EHI Primary Care understands the scheme is likely to be given the go-ahead in the next few weeks.

Once Treasury approval is received CfH will go out to tender for suppliers to take part in GPSoC through an advertisement placed in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). This process is likely to take a minimum of 90 days so procurement will not be complete by 1 April as CfH had planned.

The CfH spokesperson added: “Preparation for the OJEU is in hand but an advert has not yet been placed. We are still aiming for the scheme to be in place by April but the timing is dependent on when approval for it is given and on the outcome of a competitive OJEU procurement.”

The NHS Connecting for Health project is designed to deliver on the pledge of IT system choice for GP practices first made in the 2003 nGMS contract. CfH has been working to get approval of its business case from the Department of Health and the Treasury since March last year.

This week CfH released its guidance on the IT infrastructure specification for general practice which covers current and future needs for GP practices including the GPSoC initiative.

Dr Paul Cundy, co-chair of the joint IT committee of the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the committee was told money for the IT infrastructure had been approved but CfH was still waiting to get the go-ahead for the software covered by GPSoC.

He added: “There is a clear government commitment on choice which needs to be delivered. If it’s not delivered by April 1st of this year I will be seeking a mechanism by which GPs can pay for their own systems and seek reimbursement.”

The GPSoC scheme means ongoing revenue costs for existing systems will be met directly by CfH providing they meet specified standards set out in a maturity model with six compliance levels. System providers will be paid a tariff dependent on which level of the maturity model they have reached.

Work on providing a scheme to provide GP practices with the IT choice outlined in the GP contract in 2003 has been dogged with delays and difficulties. A previous scheme first mooted in 2005 which would allow GPs access to any system so long as it had a contract with a local service provider was scrapped because it could not be made to work and it was decided it would not offer the NHS value for money.

Related stories

CfH changes tack on GP Systems of Choice 

Treasury decision on GPSoC still pending

New deal on system choice for GPs

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up

Related News

Wes Streeting: We can make Britain a powerhouse for MedTech

Wes Streeting: We can make Britain a powerhouse for MedTech

Health secretary Wes Streeting has pledged that the new government will “make Britain a powerhouse for life sciences and medical technology”.
Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕

Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕

Today's edition includes GOSH using AI to help identify Parkinson's Disease and a look at the challenges of evaluating digital health tech.
What NHS tech and AI really need from the new government

What NHS tech and AI really need from the new government

The major parties see a big role for tech in easing pressure on the NHS and improving healthcare. What’s missing is a plan to make…