Clinical commissioning groups are getting an 18% increase in GP IT funding and must provide all practices with technology allowing remote access to patient records within this financial year, a new report has said.
The newly released GP Forward View says the government will invest a further £2.4 billion a year by 2020/21 into general practice services.
It promises an 18% uplift in clinical commissioning group allocations for provision of GP IT services and technology for general practice. This relates to the 18.5% uplift in CCG revenue budgets compared to previous years, as GP IT is now part of CCG baseline allocations.
Alongside this increase in funding, CCGs must deliver a greater range of core IT requirements as part of their service.
This financial year, services should include remote access to digital patient records and outbound electronic messaging to patients, such as text messages.
CCGs should also provide specialist support to practices, including services for information governance, IT and cyber security, data quality, clinical system training and optimisation, clinical (systems) safety and annual practice IT review, the document says.
In addition to funding for core GPIT services, CCGs will also have access to funding for subsidiary technology services, including IT to allow shared care planning or appointment management systems, the document says.
NHS England says it will make it clear what general practice should be able to expect from their IT services and be able to track progress with the creation of a Digital Primary Care Maturity Index.
The GP Forward View also outlines actions to make it easier for practices to work collaboratively, including achievement of full interoperability across IT systems.
It says NHS England will provide specialist guidance and advice for practices on information sharing agreements and consent based record sharing at the end of this year and this will be extended in the next financial year.
The national commissioning board will also produce a nationally accredited catalogue and buying framework for IT products and services, supported by a network of local procurement hubs, and will work with the supplier market to “create a wider and more innovative choice of digital services for general practice”, the new report says.
“We expect practices and CCGs to work closely together to realise the benefits of this approach and to exploit the opportunities of collaboration through GP federations, locality footprints and local procurement hubs.”