GPs urged to make IT funding inventory to stop cuts

GP leaders are urging practices to make an inventory of the IT paid for by their PCTs to prevent cuts when clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) take over.

Dr Paul Cundy: make a note of IT funding PCTs provide
Dr Paul Cundy: make a note of IT funding PCTs provide

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) said it will make a decision on GP IT budgets for England in the next two months after the joint RCGP and GPC IT committee asked for funding to be frozen for two years.

The committee’s chairman Dr Paul Cundy said practices should make a record of IT funding provided by their PCTs to ensure a smooth handover when they are replaced by CCGs next April.

‘The risk is that CCGs will look at their budgets to see how they can save money, and see if they can make cuts to IT, which would be a disaster,’ he said.

‘The PCTs don’t know what they are buying with the IT money and if they don’t know, the practices need to know.

‘They need to go around and look at all the workstations and they need to make a list of all the software being funded by the PCT, including things like payroll and pathology link systems.’

CCGs will have delegated responsibility for the delivery of primary care IT, including funding and responsibility for the hardware, practice networks, support services and training.

The board has said that funding for GP IT will not come out of CCGs' running cost allocations which will be £25 per head, based on population estimates at local authority level.

A spokeswoman for the NHSCB said: ‘The NHS Commissioning Board’s primary care technology team has engaged with a number of key stakeholders, including the joint GP IT committee, and following this engagement, the team is currently setting out the recommendations it will make to the NHSCB board.

'The final decisions on GP IT operating models and allocations will be made by the NHSCB’s board in due course.’

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