The first GP2GP record transfers between different GP computer systems has taken place, health minister Lord Hunt has announced.

The transfers, between practices using EMIS and INPS’s Vision system, took place over the last two weeks as part of Connecting for Health’s trial of interoperable record transfers at Croydon Primary Care Trust.

The successful transfers were welcomed by Dr Paul Cundy from the joint IT Committee of the British Medical Association and Royal College of General Practitioners who said they represented “a watershed for patients, practices, the program and the NHS.”

He said inter-system transfers would provide an opportunity to simultaneously improve quality of care, enhance safety, increase efficiency and reduce the paperwork burden for practices.

Dr Cundy added: “This represents a significant leap forwards in the modernisation of the NHS and is a tribute to close, collaborative and clinician-led working.”

The Croydon practices are using version 1.1 of GP2GP which allows two-way transfers between EMIS and INPS systems. Dr Cundy said the version also includes “far richer functionality” that version 1.0 of GP2GP which has been rolled out to practices to date and that feedback from practice staff and clinicians in Croydon is that they have been delighted with the results.

Croydon PCT IM&T manager John Toole said the PCT was pleased to be involved with the project. He added: “GPs have been asking for this for years and it’s been working very well.”

The news follows the announcement from CfH that it has exceeded its target to deploy version 1.0 of GP2GP to 500 practices by the end of March.

Dr Cundy said the national roll-out of version 1.1 will begin shortly and that current users will be upgraded in parallel with this process. He said iSOFT are expected to join EMIS andINPS in the roll-out later in the year.

He added: “Further enhancements to the GP2GP functionality will continue to be developed, which will include bringing other system suppliers on-board.”

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