The Health and Social Care Information Centre and TPP are still in negotiations around the new GP Systems of Choice contract, which they hope to conclude by the end of this week.

EHI reported last Friday that sixteen suppliers of GP IT systems had signed up to the new contract, but TPP had not.

The old GPSoC contract expires today. However, users of TPP's SystmOne are being told not to worry as they will get continuity of their IT service via an extension of the CSC GPSoC contract.

GPSoC is a framework contract which funds GP IT systems for 75% of practices in England. The framework expired last March, but was extended for another year while the Department of Health tendered for a new contract, worth up to £1.2 billion.

The three other principal suppliers of GP clinical systems, Emis, INPS and Microtest, have all agreed to the terms of the new framework, which includes open interface mechanisms and utilisation payments for national services.

Thirteen subsidiary suppliers have also signed up and will be centrally funded to provide services, such as patient access and document management, for the first time.

The HSCIC was hoping to get TPP signed up before the current contract expired, but this has not happened. However, it says plans are in place to ensure continuity of service for users of SystmOne.

An HSCIC spokesperson said: "We had hoped to reach agreement with TPP by the end of March. Unfortunately, there remain some specific contractual issues that must be addressed before TPP can join the new GPSoC framework. TPP is working to address these final points and we hope to be able to reach an agreement soon.

"As part of the work on closing down the old GPSoC contract, we entered into a set of exit arrangements with CSC to ensure continuity of service from the end of March 2014.  

“These were primarily to ensure that ongoing migrations could be completed. We also had an option to extend CSC’s provision of service to GPSoC practices that use TPP SystmOne. We have now invoked that option.

"Our hope and expectation is that contracts will be signed with TPP soon so that we can end this contingent arrangement with CSC.”

In a statement to EHI, TPP says it is entering a final stage of negotiations with the HSCIC and both parties are confident that negotiations will be completed before the end of the week.

TPP's chief executive Frank Hester said: “Our negotiations with the GPSoC team have been more complex and taken more time than we originally imagined. 

"It’s unfortunate that we’ve missed the original deadline of 1 April, but our discussions were not complete and HSCIC required more information from us.

“We are continuing to work very closely with HSCIC to sign the contract as soon as possible. The new framework is extremely important to us and we want to ensure that our customers have no disruption to their services.”