A national framework worth between £325m and £1.2bn is being offered up to suppliers by the Department of Health (DoH).
Potential suppliers have until 4 July to register their interest in the new GP Systems of Choice (GPSOC) framework, which will last for two years. At the end of this year, it will replace the existing version, which was launched in 2007. The framework was set to expire at the end of March, was but extended.
GPSOC is a scheme through which the NHS funds the provision of GP clinical IT systems in England and aims to improve technology and services which support patient-care delivery.
The scheme gives GPs the choice of eight software providers rather than just the two or three that were on offer from the old NPfIT (National Programme for Information Technology).
According to an electronic tender form, the framework will be split into three Lots, the first of which is set to be worth between £300m and £770m and will cover areas including patient record access, workflow and task management, document management and appointment bookings.
The second Lot is set to cover services supplementary to those in the first Lot, such as finance systems and hardware. The final Lot's worth ranges between £5m and £220m and focuses on cross-care services primarily for local care providers.
The DoH predicts that a minimum of 45 companies will be invited to tender – 15 per Lot.
John O'Brien, research director at Tech Market View, said the scope of the tender will appeal to a variety of providers.
"Specialist GP system providers will clearly see significant opportunities in Lot one, as will national players such as Atos... and those interested in emerging areas like mobility and telehealth such as Tungstall, BT and Serco," he added.
"Smaller players and specialists are also likely to see opportunities in Lots two and three. However, since funding is being driven locally here, we suspect this will be more of a ‘discretionary' spend."
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