Primary care IT services: Operating model published

On 3 April 2014 NHS England published Securing Excellence in GP IT Services: Operating model for 2014-16 an updated operating model to ‘Securing Excellence in GP IT Services’. The updated document sets out plans for how more than £230million in funding will be used to ensure all GP practices across England have high quality IT systems.

The NHS Commissioning Board has published a document today setting out how the management of IT systems will be organised for primary care providers (dentists, pharmacists and optometrists) from April 2013.

Securing excellence in IT Services: Operating Model for Community Pharmacies, Appliance Contractors, Dental Practices and Community Optometry explains how the accountability for the delivery of primary care information services will transfer from primary care trusts (PCTs) to the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB).

It follows the publication of the Operating model for GP IT services Securing Excellence in GP IT Services earlier this month which described how responsibility for operational management of GP IT services, along with associated funding, was being discharged to clinical commissioning groups to manage on behalf of the NHS CB.

Under the new system the NHS Commissioning Board will commission access for use of national IT services – such as the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) or NHSmail – for primary care contractors. As part of this it will need to provide the support and assurance linked to these services. This may be through its regional/area teams, commissioning support units (CSUs) or any other IT provider.

The NHS CB will be directly responsible for:

  • National Systems Implementation by supporting planning and co-ordination to access national IT services to improve services;
  • Core Administrative Services by providing access to NHS mail and administering password resets;
  • Registration Authority for all primary care contractors where required to support national IT systems (administration of access to clinical and business systems);
  • Clinical Safety and Assurance to assure safe use and deployment of clinical systems (adherence to dataset change notices);
  • Information Governance IT advice & guidance to assist the contractors obligations for Information Governance Toolkit (IGT) compliance; and
  • Miscellaneous administration of any necessary stationery (eg dispensing tokens)

Primary care contractors will remain responsible for local implementation of national services and will provide the necessary support services including training, associated hardware and network services. They will be free to choose any local IT delivery organisation.

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One comment

  1. Simon@NHS CB says:

    Hi Simon
    Thank you for your comment. Other primary care contractors are not provided with national funding as a core service to implement national IT systems/services and therefore would need to fund the infrastructure themselves or seek funding from PCT subject to an approved business case. If these contractors are getting existing financial support, this will be transitioned to the NHS CB but will be subject to review.

    In the future, the operating model states that if primary care contractors require access to national IT systems this will be the role of the NHS CB to approve responsibilities and funding arrangements.

    Kind regards

    Digital Communications Officer
    NHS Commissioning Board