NHS Wales is on time and under budget to complete the roll out of a centrally hosted IT service to its GPs by July 2015.

Andrew MacBean, NHS Wales Informatics Service director for operational services, told the audience at the Information for Commissioning conference at EHI Live 2014 that 65% of practices have now switched to a new system.

All Welsh surgeries are moving to a centrally hosted service after a national framework contract was agreed in mid-2012, with Emis and INPS named as the two successful suppliers.

Each practice could choose which GP IT system they would like to use and the split is about even between the two suppliers.

The first migration was in mid-2013 and MacBean told EHI that migrations are “motoring on” at around four to five per week.

“It’s increasingly painless because of the preparation we have done and the work and thinking that’s gone into it that enables it to go ahead like that,” he said. “We are very pleased with it.”

During his conference session in Birmingham MacBean said feedback on the new centralised IT support service has been positive.

Reported infrastructure faults are down by a “staggering” 80% and the service is being delivered at around half the cost previously paid to GP IT suppliers.

Issues that have arisen include higher than expected call volumes and the use of third party applications.

Other upcoming developments in Wales include the roll out of a Welsh version of the GP2GP record transfer system and video conferencing.

MacBean also said NHS Wales is in the final stages of procuring a national community information system, with the supplier expected to be announced in the new year.