The Health and Social Care Information Centre and TPP are still negotiating, but the company is expected to sign the GP Systems of Choice contract “in the very near future.”

EHI reported a few weeks back that sixteen suppliers of GP IT systems had signed up to the new contract, without TPP so far.

A spokesperson from the HSCIC told EHI that TPP and the centre are still working out the issues surrounding the contract, but would not share any detail on what those issues are.

“They have made good progress on the key outstanding issues and we hope to be in a position to sign in the very near future,” said the spokesperson.

The company has been in further negotiations with the HSCIC for weeks regarding the terms of the framework, as the previous contract expired on 1 April this year and TPP is the only supplier not to have signed.

This has caused a lot of questions and debate, which has prompted the HSCIC, has released a guide to the new GSPoC framework.

The guide says that the centre has put in place interim arrangements should TPP not sign.

“There are some specific contractual issues that must be addressed by TPP before they can join the new GPSoC framework. TPP are working to address these final points and we hope to reach an agreement soon,” it says.

“CSC is continuing to provide service to GPSoC practices that use TPP SystmOne as part of their exit arrangements in relation to the previous framework.”

A  TPP spokesperson told EHI in an email that the company is still working to get the GPSoC contract signed “as soon as possible and it remains a high priority for all of us at TPP.”  

GPSoC is a framework contract which funds GP IT systems for 75% of practices in England. The framework was due to expire in March 2013, but was extended for another year while the Department of Health tendered for a new contract, worth up to £1.2 billion.

The new contract includes open interface mechanisms and utilisation payments for national services.

This means that local organisations will not have to budget for services such as principal clinical system support charges, training for GP2GP, the electronic prescription service and the Summary Care Record as these will all be funded under the new contract.

 It also, for the first time, includes subsidiary suppliers and services, including patient access to records, electronic appointment booking and electronic prescriptions.

A governance group, chaired by NHS England head of business systems Richard Jefferson, will evaluate the applications of subsidiary suppliers to integrate using testing environments.

“Subsidiary services availability is subject to each supplier's development plans. This is dependent on each supplier’s service being fully tested and compliant with our requirements,” said the HSCIC spokeswoman.

“Planned dates for compliance are due from suppliers towards the end of April and will be published on the GPSoC website in May 2014.”

Mobile clinical applications, clinical decision support, telehealth and data entry forms are due to become available under the framework once work has been done with users and suppliers to define the scope that would most benefit the delivery of care,  adds the guide.