Primary Care News

GP Tech Innovation Framework opens for suppliers

NHS Digital has today opened an invitation for suppliers to tender for a new Tech Innovation Framework for primary care IT.

The framework aims to support the provision of electronic patient record systems and associated solutions for primary care, in line with a new set of standards and capability requirements.

Hoping to “encourage innovation” and “news ways of working” to support the future of a digital primary care, the framework aims to encourage new entrants into the market, with an aim of a “more competitive, solution-orientated marketplace”.

Following on from the GP IT Futures programme, the framework has now opened for any organisation to tender for, which has been designed to support commissioners in buying “user-focused GP systems and associated products and services”.

Another aim of the framework is to move primary care IT towards open, cloud-based systems which can be accessed over the internet. The standards and capabilities NHS Digital list, include:

  • An Internet First​ approach: solutions that work over the public internet so that they don’t need proprietary network connectivity or software and can be accessed from more locations.
  • Public Cloud solutions: supplier solutions that use tier one public cloud offerings, rather than those based upon a community, hybrid or private deployment model.
  • Browser based applications: new core solutions that are browser based (not excluding Rich Client Applications for specific applications).
  • NHS Identity (CIS2): a single system identity for clinical staff based on open standards.​
  • NHS Login: suppliers to use NHS login for patient authentication based on open standards, not their own custom authentication.
  • Modern user experience: safe, easy to use systems that enhance the patient and clinician experience built around simplified workflows that meet accessibility standards.
  • Open APIs: the mandated architecture direction for APIs will be via the API-M platform, and all new APIs should be based on FHIRv4.
  • NHS Development guidelines: suppliers to follow the software development guidance laid out in the NHS Digital software engineering quality framework.

NHS Digital said that “engagement work has already taken place with potential suppliers, 36 of whom expressed an interest in the framework plans.”

Helen Clifton, Executive Director for Product Delivery at NHS Digital, commented: “This is a key step forward on our journey to putting patients at the heart of everything we do by ensuring primary care benefits from the very latest technology.

“The new framework will introduce new solutions into the market to work alongside our current GP offer, providing greater choice and different user experiences.”

For further details please see the Contracts Finder Service here or visit the NHS Digital website here.