GP leaders fear IT funding cuts

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must be given the funding they need to maintain general practice IT, the GPC has warned.

IT: GPC remains concerned over funding for GP practice IT

When PCTs are abolished next April, responsibility for GP IT will transfer to the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB). But the GPC has said this role will be delegated to CCGs, and warned that funding must come with it.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘At a relative late stage we were advised that this contractual element of IT provision to GP practices would be delegated by the NHSCB.

‘We have not been advised of the increased resources that would need to be made available to CCGs. The current management budget of £25 per head does not include this additional responsibility because it was not part of the original responsibilities of CCGs.

‘We are seeking to ensure that the full cost of GP IT is devolved to CCGs so that they can actually ensure that practices receive continued support as well as hardware and all other current provisions for GP IT. This is crucial because the daily provision for services, and the services by GPs themselves depends on functioning IT systems.

'Even small issues like having a helpdesk that practices on a daily basis can turn to when their desktop stops working, or their printer stops working, these are arrangements that need to be in place as of next April. There is an urgency for this to be implemented. It is crucial that the full resource can be made available so that this can happen.’

A spokeswoman for the NHSCB was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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