Emis has notified investors it expects to incur penalties “in the order of upper single digits of millions of pounds” after failing to meet unspecified contractual requirements in its GP Systems of Choice contract governing the supply of electronic patient record systems.

The clinical software systems provider failed to meet standards across three categories in its service-level agreement with NHS Digital regarding its Emis Web GP electronic patient record product, as supplied under the national GPSoC contract.

The company did not specify the areas in which it fell short, or incurred the penalties, however a spokesperson said they related to lower-priority system issues and reporting.

In a market statement the company, which is listed on the AIM market, claimed that neither patient safety nor patient data had been compromised as a result of the issue, which it said was identified during an internal review of its customers and product support processes led by group CEO, Andy Thorburn.

The company says the findings of this internal review have been conveyed to NHS Digital, which is now working with Emis to assess the scale of the issue and its “full service and contractual impact”.

Thorburn, who joined Emis in May 2017, said in the statement: “I am very disappointed to find that in this area we have fallen behind the high standards of customer and product support that NHS Digital and our wider customer base have rightly come to expect of us.

“We have committed to resolve this situation to the satisfaction of NHS Digital and our users as soon as possible.”

Emis provides essential clinical electronic patient record systems to 57% of all general practices in England under the GP System of Choice (GPSoC) contract. The GPSoC sets out detailed service standards that must be met to ensure the quality of the service that is provided to general practice.

Emis faces multi-million pound fee for GPSoC contract standards breaches

  • Emis failed to meet standards in three categories of its GP System of Choice contract with NHSD
  • This related to “lower-priority system issues and reporting.”
  • Failure to report standards results in “service credits” being applied, which amount to financial penalties
  • Emis says it expects a financial impact of “upper single digits of millions pounds”
  • TPP confident that data sharing-agreement with Emis is not impacted

GPSoC includes terms requiring principal system suppliers – namely Emis, TPP, INPS and Microtest – to allow suppliers of third-party services to integrate with them.

GPSoC standards are reported monthly, with each service level within the contract given a target Any failure to achieve this target results in service points being applied, which are then converted into financial penalties.

Emis said it was too early to determine the exactly financial impact of the shortcomings, but expected it to run into the order of several million.

In a statement, NHS Digital said: “Emis Group have made us aware that they have not met some of their service and reporting obligations under the GP System of Choice contract. We are now carrying out our own detailed analysis of the situation with their full co-operation.

“Our immediate priority was to assess the extent of any clinical safety considerations. Our specialist clinical safety team, has concluded this assessment and there is no evidence that public safety or patient data has been put at risk as a result of this issue.”

A TPP spokesperson told Digital Health News: “Obviously TPP is not aware of the detail of Emis’s failings with NHS Digital. However, we are confident that our direct data sharing agreement with them is not impacted. In addition, this project remains in a pilot state within a controlled area of North West London. Our other interoperability projects via the GPConnect programme are accredited and coordinated by NHS Digital.”