More that £230 million will be invested in GP IT systems, in a new bid to improve quality across the NHS.
Plans released by NHS England today will aim to improve the quality of GP care by enhancing patients’ experience of services, supporting and encouraging greater integration of care and providing efficiency benefits for practices by reducing paperwork, freeing up more time for patient care.
The new model should allow all practices to offer online appointment booking, ordering repeat prescriptions and patient access to health records online.
Health professionals in hospital and primary care will also be one step closer to integrated digital care records across the NHS.
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will be given the funding, distributed according to population.
A range of add-on services will be available to ensure the IT system can be tailored for local improvement strategies.
Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Having set a challenge to the NHS to become paperless by 2018, it is great to see NHS England helping GPs turn this into reality. GPs are often the first point of call for patients and it is vital they have computer systems fit for a 21st century NHS. These improvements will help simplify services for patients and ensure we continue to provide a world class healthcare service.”
Tracey Grainger, programme head of primary care IT at NHS England, said: “These arrangements will continue to give general practice providers a choice of high quality clinical IT systems that are tailored to local requirements while enabling the flexibility and innovation we recognise the service needs. This is underpinned by an on-going commitment from NHS England to continue to support and encourage the development of a world class IT infrastructure across health and care.”