Executive summary

General Practice and the use of information technology by GPs, patients and the wider NHS have changed considerably over the last decade.  Digital Primary Care: The Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records – version 5 (GPGv5) has been produced in accordance with a review and recommendations provided by Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

RCGP representatives reviewed the last version of the guidelines, Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records – version 4 (GPGv4) published in 2011 by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and concluded that the Guidelines should be brought up to date, with the scope increased to include new topics.  The RCGP also recommended that the Guidelines should be presented as a web resource and should not seek to recreate or duplicate existing national resources including guidance and training.

These Guidelines have been published as an interlinked knowledge base, bringing a large number of subjects together in one place.  Breaking the information down into several topics should make for easier access to specific areas of guidance.

All the topics have received input from members of the General Practice workforce including GPs, Practice Nurses, and Practice Managers.  Each topic has then been subsequently reviewed by subject matter experts from across the NHS, including representatives of the British Medical Association and RCGP.

There are variations in General Practice information technology across the four nations of the United Kingdom.  Since the production and maintenance of these guidelines was devolved to NHS England, the focus is on systems in England.  The content will, however, be shared with the devolved nations and it is hoped that GPGv5 will also be very useful to them.

The themes covered in GPGv5 are:

  • The purpose of health records
  • Patient record and information systems’ functionality
  • Clinical safety
  • Information governance and data protection
  • Data sharing and interoperability
  • Online patient facing services
  • Education and training
  • Working in a digitally transformed NHS
  • NHS organisations with an impact on digital general practice


NHS England would like to acknowledge and thank all those who contributed to Digital Primary Care: The Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records – version 5 (GPGv5). The list below includes those who have contributed to the Guidelines either as authors or reviewers of at least one of the topics.

Aleksandra Gawlik-Lipinski Florence Starr Nisha Mehta
Ali Epton Gary Calvert Noshaba Khan
Andrea Mellenthin Gary Williams Ofra Koffman
Andrew Jazaerli Glenn Armitage Pam Elliott
Annabelle Painter Hazel Dowden Paul Barnes
Anne Slee Helen Crowther Paul Wastell
Anthony Hockey Imran Khan Permjeet Dhoot
Anthony Langan Imran Rafi Peter Dixon
Ben Brown Jackie Mahon Peter- Marc Fortune
Carol Headland Jason Clark Phil Koczan
Chi Cheung Jason Clarke Phil Stradling
Chris Bunch John Macdonald Philip Gill
Chris Parsons John Robinson Rachel Merret
Chris Tracey Joyce Pickering Richard Dyson
Ciaron Hoye Judith Hayward Richard Ives
Claire Horner Judith Hutchings Richard Phillips
Dai Evans Justine Brightwell Robert Jordan
Damian Williams Kate Pavlidou Rommel Lao
Daniel Alton Kathy Smith Ruth Bartram
Daniel Grace Kay Renwick Sarah Burrow
Darran Hudson Kenny Gibson Sarah Oram
David Cox Lauren Marks Sebastian Alexander
Dawn Friend Leanne Summers Simon Minkoff
Debra Graham Lou James Steven Dodd
Denise Smith Louise Croney Sue Allen
Di Bullman Mark Coley Thomas Nichols
Dimitri Varsamis Mark Dillon Thomassina Learmond
Dipesh Hindocha Mark Gubby Timir Goswami
Douglas Scott Martin Staples Tina Coxhead
Elia Monteiro Mary Mackensie Tony Jamieson
Elizabeth Ozogolu MaryAnn Trelifi Tristan Stanton
Emma Coppini Matthew Hoghton Will Barker
Emma Stone Matthew Skellern
Fawaz Rahman Mina Demaris

If you wish to provide feedback on these guidelines, please email england.dpc.goodpracticeguidelines@nhs.net