Health minister Lord Hunt has unveiled an NHS IT system that will allow patients’ records to be transferred electronically between GP clinical systems from different vendors for the first time.
Hunt launched Version 1.1 of the GP2GP system, part of the £12.4bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT), at the Healthcare Computing conference in Harrogate.
Doctors can now use GP2GP to transfer records between clinical systems from EMIS and INPS. NHS Connecting for Health, which runs NPfIT, said GP2GP was expected to be integrated with iSoft systems later this year. The earlier 1.0 version allowed records to be transferred only between GP systems from the same vendor.
The new software has been tested by GP practices from Croydon primary care trust, south London, over the past fortnight.
Dr Paul Cundy, from NPfIT’s Joint GP IT Committee, said: "These first transfers of GP electronic patient records between different practices using different computer systems is a watershed for patients, practices, the National Programme and the NHS.
"They provide an opportunity to simultaneously improve quality of care, enhance safety, increase efficiency and massively reduce the paper workload burden for practices.”
The new software is expected to be rolled out across the country shortly, with upgrades carried out at the same time for the 500 practices using GP2GP version 1.0.