NPfIT says it is confident that it can win over GPs

A spokesman for the national programme for IT in the NHS has denied that it is too late to win the support of GPs for new...

A spokesman for the national programme for IT in the NHS has denied that it is too late to win the support of GPs for new systems.

"Many, many GPs support the national programme and it is not too late to build wider support," he said. "The newly appointed clinical leads are working hard both to engage GPs and to influence the programme. They are confident and optimistic that their work will build support."

The spokesman said the survey demonstrated the support of a large number of clinicians for the benefits of the NPfIT. But he accepted that gaining the support of doctors would be a major challenge.

"The national programme recognises the importance of clinical engagement and we know there is much more to do. This is why we have adopted a new approach - with the recruitment of a number of senior, credible clinicians to lead this work. This Medix survey was conducted in the period after the appointment of these new clinical leads but well before their work has had the chance to penetrate at grassroots level," he said.

"We recognise the concerns that GPs have with Choose and Book and we are working hard with GPs to explore ways to address their concerns.

"NPfIT is using a small number of early adopters to trial its systems before wider roll out. Lessons can be learnt about both the systems and implications for work practices before full implementation.

"The communication and engagement approach is not one sided. Naturally we want to stress the benefits of NPfIT but programme staff and senior managers are completely up-front about the fact that it is complex, challenging and has many issues to contend with.

"Ministers and senior officials have said publicly that it would not be realistic to expect to deliver such a programme without accepting there will be challenges and issues to overcome."

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