“Outdated and frustrating” IT systems in GP practices will be replaced by modern technology, Matt Hancock has pledged.
The health and social care secretary said the new ‘GP IT Futures’ framework will create “an open, competitive market” to encourage the best tech companies to invest in the NHS.
It will make it easier for primary care providers to buy IT systems and services and will also explore moving patient data to the cloud.
By 2023 to 2024, Hancock hopes every patient in England would be able to access GP services digitally, with practices able to offer online or video consultations.
“Too often the IT used by GPs in the NHS – like other NHS technology – is out of date,” he said.
“It frustrates staff and patients alike, and doesn’t work well with other NHS systems. This must change.”
The new standards, developed by NHS Digital, will introduce minimum technical requirements so systems can talk to each other securely and are continuously upgradable.
Any system that does not meet these standards will not be used by the NHS and the government will look to end contracts with providers that do not understand these principles for the health and care sector.
NHS Digital boss Sarah Wilkinson added: “The next generation of IT services for primary care must give more patients easy access to all key aspects of their medical record and provide the highest quality technology for use by GPs.
“They must also comply with our technology standards to ensure that we can integrate patient records across primary care, secondary care and social care.”