This site is intended for health professionals only

Digital pathways framework cancelled by NHS England

by Beth Gault
10 June 2024

Share this article

The digital pathways framework – which aimed to help practices and PCNs buy standardised digital systems for delivering the modern general practice access plan – will no longer be published by NHS England, it has confirmed.

The framework was going to provide a list of approved tools that would be available to practices for functions including booking, messaging and online consultations.

It was set to launch in February but was later delayed until at least June due to ongoing legal action.

An NHS England spokesperson confirmed to our sister publication Healthcare Leader that the framework would no longer be published and that ICBs will be expected to support practices and PCNs with navigating the digital market.

They said: ‘Thanks to the NHS’s plan for recovering access to primary care, more GP surgeries have the latest tech to make access easier for patients.

‘Although a framework is not now how we are taking this work forward, practices can still secure the higher quality digital solutions they need with the help of ICBs, using the additional investment provided by the plan.’

Around £240m was ‘retargeted’ to help the transition for practices to the modern general practice access model, which was set out in the recovery plan.

This money was expected to cover a four-year period between January 2024 and 2028, with £48m available for ICBs in 2024/25.

The model comprises a move to digital telephony, making online requests simpler, offering faster navigation, assessment and responses for patients. It was intended to address the ‘8am rush’ in GP practices.

ICBs will continue to enable PCNs and practices to use in-year funding through the recover plan.

Healthcare Leader understands that further options of suppliers of digital pathways products will be confirmed by NHS England in due course.

A version of this article was first published by our sister publication Healthcare Leader