10 November 2023
NHS England is inviting suppliers to tender for a new framework that will enhance GP practices’ capabilities to provide online consultations and improve their communication with patients.
“Surgeries with modern messaging, online booking, and video consultation systems find they have more capacity and less of an 8am rush, while giving patients a convenient way to get the help they need,” said NHS England’s director of digital primary care, Mark Sayers.
The Digital Pathways Framework is part of a new suite of commercial frameworks that will allow buyers to purchase standardised and assured digital systems for primary care. The Framework has now opened for tenders and includes proposals for new, advanced digital systems that will improve the management of appointment bookings, messaging, and consultations.
“I would encourage all suppliers to come forward who are able to provide the high-quality tools and technology needed to support our vision for modern general practice,” said Sayers.
The Framework will include new tech systems that will cater for online consultations, administrative request reporting, online patient or service user consultation, care navigation, and online administrative requests.In addition, there is potential for the systems to enhance prescription ordering for patients, communication management, video consultations, record viewing for patients, and cross organisational appointment booking.
Earlier this year, the UK Government announced that general practices across England will be given £240 million to embrace the latest technology, with the funding expected to cover a four-year period from January 2024 to 2028.
“As well as growing staff numbers in GPs by 30% since 2019, we are also investing £240 million to give GPs the latest technology. We are working to abolish the 8am rush and make it easier to see your GP in a convenient way,” said health minister Neil O’Brien.