Large patient record files can be sent electronically between GP practices with the launch of the latest version of GP2GP.

Emis Health has been awarded full rollout approval for GP2GP version 2.2a for users of its Emis Web clinical system. More than 400 practices already have the new functionality.

GP2GP is a national system used to securely transfer more than 100,000 electronic patient records a month between GP practices in England. 

Use of the system was made mandatory for GPs  as part of the latest GMS contract. More than 7500 practices are live with GP2GP, but restrictions on file sizes have meant many patient records cannot be transferred.

GP2GP v1.1 prevented transfers where electronic patient records exceeded 5Mb in size, or contained more than 99 attachments, causing frustration for practices.

Emis began a controlled roll-out of v2.2a functionality as part of the Emis Web release 5.7 on 14 September.

This latest version allows larger records to be transferred and removes the limitation on the number of attachments. 

It also means that when a patient leaves a practice, practices that sent a record will be notified of what has or has not been integrated successfully at the new practice and therefore, what needs printing for inclusion in the Lloyd George envelope, which must still be sent as well.  

Dr Shaun O’Hanlon, Emis chief medical officer, said: “Patients with the most complex needs can now benefit from having their records shared securely, electronically, and with cost savings for practices.

“GP2GP v2.2a will be activated across the whole EMIS Web estate in a phased roll out.”

Information on the Health and Social Care Information Centre website says GP2GP version 2.2 has been developed to increase the number of transfers and improve the process and has been designed in conjunction with clinicians and clinical system suppliers.

There are three major releases of the updated system called v2.2a, v2.2b and v2.2c.

The release of v2.2b will mean that if a patient returns to a practice, their record can be sent via GP2GP and fully integrated into the clinical system.

According to the HSCIC, v2.2c relates to; “Summary Care Record flag handling; patient facing services; and archetypes”.

All the principal GP system suppliers are working on developing v2.2 for their users, however no release dates for other systems have been confirmed.