GP IT Re-Provisioning: An Update on Progress for SNUG Members

After some debate, it was agreed by the national Project Board that we would focus on a contract for the core GP IT system only. This means practically a replacement for the current EMIS and Vision systems. In addition, because new generation systems are generally web hosted (i.e. the system is provided via a centralised server with access over secure networks) the new contract needed to include provision of the hosting environment. Finally, in recognition of the need for systems to be more integrated and support more exchange and sharing of information, the contract needed to detail how that level of interoperability would be delivered. This means that the contract does not include services relating to the direct transformation of services, it covers the IT tool that allows General Practice to move forward into the future.

Is Scotland Special?

There are some aspects of the GP IT computing environment which have developed over the years and which are now considered critical to the ability for GPs to interact with other parts of the NHS in Scotland. This list of functionality has been agreed and included in the Scottish Integration and Interface Functionality (SIIF) document, which any supplier wishing to have their product used in Scotland will need to be able to deliver against. Other critical dependencies include eLinks, the GP2GP programme of record transfer, and the replacement programme for CHI.

A New Framework for the supply of GP IT systems as a Managed Service

On 1 February 2019, NHS National Services Scotland signed Framework Contracts with EMIS Health (Egton Medical Information Systems Limited), Microtest Ltd and Vision Health (InPractice Systems Ltd) for the supply of GP IT systems as a Managed Service to GP Practices across NHSScotland.

All three Suppliers have 12 months to develop their systems to meet the first tranche of Scottish requirements and become accredited systems that are approved for use in Scotland. It is estimated that the earliest date at which a new GP IT system will go live in a GP Practice will be June 2020 and the new systems will be rolled out across Scotland over a period of approximately 30 months. GP Practices can be assured that, until they migrate, their existing systems and services will continue to be supported by their current suppliers under the existing contract arrangements.

Experience in Scotland, and from the rest of the UK, has taught us that GP IT System change must be undertaken in a careful and considered way that minimises disruption to General Practice staff and patients. This is the case whether a Practice is moving to a new Supplier system, or migrating to the new system of an existing Supplier. Our aim is to ensure the smoothest transition possible and planning for this is being carried out by a national team based at NHS National Services Scotland, working in close collaboration with local NHS Board teams. General Practices will be involved in due course in relation to:

  • Participating in the selection of your GP IT System from the approved framework
  • Preparing for migration to your new GP IT System (data cleansing and training)
  • Transitioning to your new GP IT system and subsequent ‘bedding in’.

NHS Boards are currently in the process of establishing teams and starting to plan for this activity.  They will be working with the local HSCPs and with the GP Sub-Committees of the Local Medical Committees.  Advice is also being provided by the national team, with support and practical input from the SGPC and the RCGP. The aim of all involved is to ensure that General Practices are supported as much as possible at all stages of the Re-Provisioning process.

Further information will be provided by NHS Boards during the summer of 2019, when the process of selecting a new system will commence. Meetings will take place to explain the process for participating in the selection process. In the meantime, any queries can be directed to your local NHS GP IT Facilitator.

Please find attached a GPIT RP Procurement Outcome Letter to Stakeholders v1 0 (Issued) from Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive of NHS National Services Scotland, and Jenny Bodie, Chair of the GP IT Re-Provisioning Project Board, detailing the outcome of the GP IT as a Managed Service Framework procurement.

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Frequently Asked Questions will be published and regularly updated at:

You will find all the latest news and updates at:

GP IT Re Prov Newsletter September 2020 – 

Should you have any other questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Project Team via:

SNUG Executive’s involvement in Re-Provisioning

GP IT Re-Provisioning  -What are your top priorities?

SNUG  ran an exercise in February 2016 asking SNUG member Practices what important things GPs needed through the negotiations about the Re-Provisioning of their GP IT system. The responses were fed back into the group tasked with taking this work forward. They fell broadly into two groups; those to do with infrastructure and those to do with the software system itself. A number of you suggest the desirability of having a single compulsory system for Scotland, however, the view of the SGPC is that there should still be a degree of choice in the future. A very key message from many of you is about basic performance and the increasingly fragmented approach to delivering integrated functionality. Here is a summary of the other key issues raised in no particular order.

Infrastructure issues

  • The need for mobile working to allow live input and review on house calls, visits to care homes and working from home or from anywhere out of the office in a secure fashion
  • Effective links with information systems used by other members of the primary care team
  • GP to GP record Transfer
  • Robust and reliable hardware and networks with disaster recovery plans which allow service continuity
  • Support for effective working in Branch Surgeries
  • Better training and support of core systems which allows speedy upgrades patching and deployment of new software

Software related issues

  • Software and Operating systems which are reliable and supported
  • Much more functional Patient Online Services
  • Better links with Secondary care and a single mechanism for the workflow of all results reports and documents received which is well integrated into the GP system
  • A mechanism to import and export prescription details and allow safer medicines reconciliation
  • A safer quicker prescribing module with effective alerts and decision and formulary support
  • Streamlining of the clinical interface to minimise clicks and provide fast slick and interactive support to the clinician
  • Functionality to support frail multi-morbid patients
  • A much more agile approach to delivering change and improvements to the systems
  • Support for a range of data inputting mechanisms
  • A more effective search and report function

 The GP IT Re-Provisioning team will provide us with regular updates and will attend meetings whenever possible. Any questions can also be submitted here

Dr Neil Kelly

Chairman SNUG

Members Day 2019 – SNUG Discussion on Re Provisioning