Clinical commissioning groups are expected to commission GP IT services from commissioning support units or other providers by the end of this month.
The NHS Commissioning Board has published a document explaining how GP IT will be managed in the future called - ‘Securing excellence in GP IT services’.
Under the new arrangements, the Health and Social Care Information Centre will be responsible for procuring clinical systems covered by GP Systems of Choice.
CCGs were told in June that they will have responsibility for GP IT delegated from the commissioning board, but have had little further detail about the new arrangements.
The CB document says that national funding will be delegated to CCGs, which are expected to commission GP IT services from appropriate providers such as commissioning support units, or may choose to deliver these services themselves.
The report timetable states that CCGs should commission these services by the end of this month in order for providers to take over delivery from next April.
“Any appointed GP IT service provider will have to deliver to a set of quality standards, including compliance with Information Governance Toolkit, determined by the NHS CB in conjunction with CCGs,” the document says.
Under the new system, procurement of clinical systems through GPSoC will continue to be funded nationally.
However, the CB has delegated responsibility for procuring GP clinical systems, and some support services, to the HSCIC.
The centre will manage the contracts and CCGs will commission CSUs (or any other provider) to provide implementation, system updates, training and all services to support migration from one system to another.
CSUs must ensure suppliers and practices meet their obligations and escalate issues to the HSCIC if they cannot be resolved.
As of next April, CCGs will be responsible for IT maintenance, service desks and networks as well as planning and local implementation support for nationally mandated systems such as GP2GP, Summary Care Record and Choose and Book.
They will also fund and support ‘discretionary services,’ such as; community of interest networks, patient kiosks, email other than NHS mail and remote access to clinical systems.
GP business support systems - such as payroll, HR and telephony systems - will continue to be funded and delivered by practices themselves.
“NHS CB will have responsibility for compliance monitoring and ensuring that all parties comply with their contractual obligations,” the report says.
“The CCGs (or through their nominated management function) will therefore require the expertise to monitor performance of local suppliers and practices in using the IT services to enable them to be held to account.”
A ‘primary care IT expenditure stocktake’ will determine current spending on GP IT which will be delegated to CCGs and will not exceed this financial year’s cash expenditure.
“The NHS CB will support CCGs by setting overall vision and strategy, establishing a single set of standards and maintaining overall budgetary oversight,” the document explains.
The document does not address any staffing implications associated with the changes, or cover IT support for the commissioning functions of CCGs.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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