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NHS Digital Pathways procurement to tackle ‘8am rush’


Mark Say Managing Editor

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GP in his office
Image source: NHS England

NHS England has emphasised its desire to tackle the ‘8am rush’ for GP appointments with its planned Digital Pathways Framework for technology procurement.

It has invited suppliers to tender for places on the framework – the notice for which was published last month – saying it will enhance GP practices’ capabilities to provide online consultations and improve communications with patients.

The framework will include new technology 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 Government announced that general practices across England will be given £240 million to support adoption of the relevant technology, with the funding expected to cover a four-year period from January 2024-28.

Capacity and convenience

NHS England’s director of primary care, Mark Sayers, said: “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.

“I’d 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.”

The deadline for the receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 17 November.

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