Document management software supplier PCTI is offering its electronic document transfer software free of charge to GP practices.

The company says the software, which normally sells for £750 per practice, enables trusts to send messages securely to practices and claims the offer could be worth £3m to the NHS.

PCTI said some GP practices were already using the EDT software to receive discharge summaries from hospitals.

A contractual requirement to deliver discharge summaries within 24 hours came into force on 1 April 1, although most hospitals are thought to be missing the target.

Ric Thompson, managing director of PCTI, said he thought it was time for suppliers to come up with new and innovative ways to help the NHS achieve its cost reduction goals.

He added: “By providing over £3m of our software licences for free we will be enabling primary and secondary care to communicate electronically in a fast and reliable yet low cost way.

"Customers who have adopted our technology have achieved significant savings from not having to send physical paper as a means to communicate.”

The company said the EDT software conforms to NHS Connecting for Health’s Interoperability Toolkit standards for discharge summaries and that it had successfully demonstrated discharge solutions with three different consortia meeting the ITK standards.

Philip Young, director at PCTI, added: “The toolkit removes the headaches normally associated with secondary to primary care electronic communication, particularly where multiple systems are involved.

"Trusts will be able to deploy compliant IKT discharge summary systems and have a working solution very quickly indeed.”

PCTI said the Docman EDT software licence would be available to all its customers currently on standard support and practices requiring further information should get in touch with their local account manager.