Primary care IT suppliers are invited to an event hosted by Intellect and NHS Connecting for Health to discuss the replacement for GP Systems of Choice.

GPSoC has been in place since 2007 and 81% of practices currently use a system provided through the framework, which expires next April.

EHealth Insider has learned that one of the options being considered for a replacement contract would provide a framework, or central funding, for some third party products used in GP practices.

EHI reported last week that the new contract may also force GP system suppliers to open their Application Programme Interfaces to third party suppliers.

GPSoC senior responsible owner and national director for patients and information at the NHS Commissioning Board, Tim Kelsey, said:

"NHS CFH has been engaging with a wide range of stakeholders over the last year, including GP representatives and suppliers, to identify the requirements for a replacement framework and it is expected this will involve a broader range of suppliers than at present.”

"Subject to us gaining the required approvals, a procurement for a new framework may be launched early in the new year,” Kelsey said.

“It’s important the supplier community understand the proposed direction of travel, has an opportunity to ask questions, give feedback, influence and start to consider whether they would like to be involved."

INPS managing director Max Brighton told EHI the government is considering centrally funding some third party products through GPSoC.

This would impact clinical commissioning groups, which are taking on responsibility for GP IT funding from primary care trusts, as they would no longer have to fund some third party software.

“For the GP customers I’m not sure there will be a tremendous impact though it depends which customers are selected for inclusion as a centrally funded piece of software,” he said.

EHI understands that an option on the table is to split the contract into two lots. One would cover core GP systems and the other would cover peripheral systems.

Lot two, for things such as document management or appointment systems, would be a framework contract that CCGs can call off against. In this case the systems would not be centrally funded, but available on agreed commercial terms.

The issue of how much funding CCGs will get for taking on responsibility for GP IT is also yet to be confirmed.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a negotiator for the BMA’s GP Committee, said the committee had been told that funding for IT will be identified and made available to CCGs, but no more detail had been provided.

“So there’s an exercise that will prove to be quite a challenge as to identifying what money belongs to this pot and how that will then be apportioned to CCGs,” he explained.

“The bottom line for us is, we would not want to see CCGs disadvantaged in having a responsibility which is not matched by the funding required to discharge that responsibility.”

The GPSoC event will be held at DLA Piper’s offices in London on Wednesday 12th December and suppliers can register on the Intellect website.