The past 12 months in primary care IT have seen the implementation of a scheme to secure GP IT system choice, increasing numbers of GP records transferred electronically and a new consent model introduced for the NHS Summary Care Record.

Less successfully, 2008 also saw the disappearance of one local service provider, the government seemingly entrenched in negotiations with its remaining LSPs, and some missed deadlines for the Electronic Prescription Service.

EHI Primary Care’s review of the year shows that April was a high spot for those who have campaigned long and hard for GPs to retain the right to choose their own IT systems, when the vast majority of English practices signed up to the GP Systems of Choice framework.

The following month, the much anticipated evaluation of the SCR was published and led to revisions to its consent model. Then in June, Lord Darzi outlined his plans for the future of the NHS with a raft of initiatives likely to be IT-dependent.

Unfortunately, Fujitsu had just left the National Programme for IT in the NHS, leaving the South of England without an LSP. And NHS Connecting for Health is still locked in negotiations with CSC and BT, the remaining LSPs for the North, Midlands and East of England and London, respectively.

The activities of the LSPs pre-occupied readers. The most read report on the EHI Primary Care website this year was a comment and analysis by GP Dr Mary Hawking about the implications of shared care records and Lorenzo; the ‘strategic’ electronic patient record system due to be delivered to the North, East and Midlands.

This was swiftly followed in popularity by news of CSC’s announcement that it planned to integrate TPP’s SystmOne into Lorenzo.

Meanwhile, the news that Fujitsu was to drop out of NPfIT prompted the most reader comments, with more than 60 readers to submitting their thoughts.

Readers also reached for their over stories about the government’s plans to consider widening access to the NHS Care Records Service to pharmacists and primary care trusts limiting practices’ ability to use third party add-ons.

Top five stories (most viewed):

4 March: CSC plans to integrate SystmOne into Lorenzo

29 January: Practices use of 0844 numbers to be investigated

4 March: Healthcare assistants’ access to the SCR defended

8 July: GPs concerned by TPP data sharing system

9 September: PCT seeks to align SCR and SystmOne consent models

Five most commented stories:

28 May: Fujitsu’s £896m NHS IT contract to be terminated

3 July: Access to NHS care records may be widened

18 June: CfH boss says NHS IT programme an ‘expedition’

7 October: GPs face limits on third party add-ons

28 October: Smartcard access policy change

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That was the year in primary care IT