The Department of Health has ordered contracts being negotiated with TPP to be put under review while an issue with the use of the QRisk2 calculator with its systems is resolved.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority launched an investigation into the QRisk2 calculator in SystmOne earlier this month.

QRisk2 is an algorithm developed by doctors and academics that calculates a patient’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the following ten years. Patients at risk can be prescribed suitable treatment, including statins.

It is available as an online calculator as well as within GP systems; but the MHRA has confirmed that it is only its use with SystmOne that is being investigated.  Now, it has emerged that NHS bodies have been told to pause negotiations of new contracts with TPP.

As reported by the GP magazine Pulse, the Department of Health has issued an alert to NHS organisations saying that health secretary Jeremy Hunt and permanent secretary Una O’Brien have asked that any contracts that are about to be signed with TPP should be “paused” until the issue is resolved.

Although existing contracts are unaffected, this may cause problems for organisations in the North, Midlands and East of England, which need to be off their National Programme for IT contracts by 7 July.

CSC installed a large number of TPP systems in GP surgeries and also in community providers as local service provider for these regions.

In a statement to Digital Health News, the Department of Health said: "An investigation has been launched by the MHRA into a digital calculator used by some GPs to assess the potential risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients.

"The MHRA is working closely with the company responsible to resolve the incident and any new contracts being negotiated with that company are under review.”

Pulse says the alert has been circulated to clinical commissioning group leaders by NHS England regional team primary care leads.

TPP told Pulse that it had responded as soon as issues were identified with the QRisk2 calculator, and that it was hoping to resolve the issues soon.

“We are currently working to verify that the QRisk2 calculator is functioning correctly, with the guidance of the MHRA and the Health and Social Care Information Centre,” it added.

“This temporary pause does not affect existing contracts, and we are working to the best of our ability to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We expect the temporary pause to be lifted following the resolution.”