Archived information

Primary care IT services

Commissioning Specification: Information Governance Support for Primary Care Providers

This commissioning specification is intended to inform NHS England’s Regions about the information governance support that they must commission for the primary care providers and provide an outline structure for contracting purposes.

Although NHS England has delegated the management of GP IT budgets to CCGs, it has retained responsibility for commissioning IG support services. The rationale for this arrangement is firstly to align the IG support arrangements for GPs with those for other primary care services (community pharmacies, dental practices, and community optometry) and secondly to ensure that limited IG skills and expertise are aggregated at the highest level.

The document describes the requirements in the form of hierarchical tables including minimum and developmental requirements. The IG Toolkit requirements for GP Practices, community pharmacies, opticians and dental practices are grouped under functionally related services and service lines, with minimum (level 2) and optimal (level 3) requirements listed separately.

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Important notice for CCGs regarding GPSoC and GP IT Services

Two important changes are occurring in relation to GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) and GP IT services:

  1. It is necessary for each CCG to sign up to a local Call Off Agreement with each GPSoC Supplier from whom they order GPSoC Services.
  2. It is necessary for every CCG to agree a CCG Practice Agreement with each practice for which they arrange GPSoC and/or GP IT Services.

Letter: CCG Practice Agreement – 31 December 2015 deadline for GPSoC GP practice sign off

The CCG Practice Agreement

NHS England has now published the CCG Practice agreement which supports the publication “Securing Excellence in GP IT Services: operating model second edition (2014-16)”. The CCG Practice Agreement sets out the basis on which a CCG will provide the services to Practices and each Practice’s responsibilities in respect of the receipt of these services.

The CCG Practice agreement is also available in word format.

It is important that CCGs and practices sign this agreement and where this isn’t possible, CCGs should escalate to their area teams in order for a solution to be found. Failure to sign the agreement coupled with no escalation to the area team may result in central GPSoC funding being withdrawn.

In support of the CCG Practice agreement, NHS England has produced the following guidance:

  • General Practice IT Infrastructure Specification – this guidance defines the core information technology considerations when implementing IT systems for use by GP Practices.
  • Examples for the production of GP IT Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – these files show some of the good practice currently employed within the NHS for the development of GP IT SLAs with GP IT delivery partners:
    • Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit (GMCSU)

Other GP IT delivery partners may ask us to list links to their SLA information. Please get in touch via