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CCGs given £230m to improve GP IT

CCGs given £230m to improve GP IT

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More than £230 million will be distributed to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) based on patient population size, to improve practice IT systems. 

NHS England has announced an updated operating model for 2014/16 to improve the quality of GP care. 

The new system will lay the foundations for all GP practices to be able to offer online transactions to patients in the future, such as booking appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and accessing their individual health records online.

It also supports the aim of implementing integrated digital care records across the NHS, which will help make patients’ journeys seamless by giving health professionals in both hospitals and primary care access to the information they need, without patients having to constantly repeat themselves.

NHS England hopes that distributing money according to population size will create "equity" across England, based on a core IT service offer. 

There will also be the option of a range of add-on IT services, which can be tailored to fit local service improvement strategies. 

NHS England is also creating resources and networks to support practices, CCGs and other stakeholders to share with their peers what works for them, offer advice on best practice and collaborate on innovative ideas.

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.”

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.”

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