GP practices, federations and PCNs are being encouraged to become early adopters of the next generation of GP IT clinical systems – and could qualify for funding worth tens of thousands of pounds to support the switch.
NHS England (NHSE) has launched an ‘early adopter programme’ for practices keen on exploring, assessing and potentially implementing new systems on the market being built using latest technologies and improved capabilities.
The systems ‘will offer better interoperability, more resilient services, and more adaptive solutions to help GPs comply with the core digital offer as per the 2021/22 GP contract,’ NHSE said.
They will be offered via suppliers on the Tech Innovation Framework (TIF), a commercial framework established in 2022 to develop clinical systems products for general practice that are internet-first and cloud-based (see also box).
Under the early adopter scheme, practices will not only be able to access funding assistance but will also be given specialist advice, guidance and toolkits to steer them through the migration process.
The programme consists of four stages:
- Plan the change (pre-deployment)
- Implement the change (deployment)
- Post go-live support
Funding will be available to early adopters at each stage of the journey, with agreed inputs and outputs for each stage, a spokesperson for NHSE said.
To qualify for funding, practices will need the support of their ICB in becoming an early adopter of a TIF solution.
The NHSE spokesperson told Management in Practice: ‘More details on this funding is available to those who are interested, but as an indication there is up to £20K available per discovery and up to £100K available per pre-deployment, depending on the complexity and size of the change and planned transformation.’
However, organisations that begin the discovery phase are not committed to making a change and progressing to the next phase.
Applications for the scheme will be assessed independently and while there is no deadline for signing-up, the funding available currently is for this financial year, the spokesperson added.
The non-financial support will consist of ‘hand-holding and subject matter expertise in business change, deployment and implementation planning, all depending on the needs of the early adopter,’ they further explained.
Participants will be able to choose the supplier that best addresses their organisations’ needs. Another benefit, NHSE said, is that they will also be able to ‘influence the shape of new systems coming into the market to ensure they meet your needs, and those of the evolving primary care space’.