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CCGs plan to use non-NHS IT support

22nd November 2011

A survey has suggested that nearly half of the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the NHS are considering using IT support from outside the health service after 2013.

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The E-Health Insider research received responses from around a quarter of CCGs, and discovered that 47% were thinking of using external systems support services.

However, only one in 10 said they thought they would use external services to cover all their IT requirements.

The survey showed that while 48% of CCGs expected to employ workers "directly" for infrastructure and GP clinical systems support, a significantly higher amount of 61% thought they would hire their own workers to provide information and analysis services.

The data showed that 55% had already started work with their cluster PCT on Information Technology and 26% said they were working alongside other CCGs on IT. The research found only 16% had already settled on an internal IT team. 

One comment in response to the survey said: "There seems to be an assumption that the current primary care trust will morph into the commissioning support unit as a done deal," while another said: "Very early days as yet, no clear pathway developed."

Hugh Janes, manager of the Fareham and Gosport CCG in Hampshire, told E-Health Insider that his primary care trust had installed an effective IT service and it appeared that it would carry on being employed as a "shared resource" by other CCGs.

He added: "The governance in terms of what is going to be required from us is not going to be a light touch and so we felt we needed robust information systems to deal with that. We have a relatively good one locally, so it was purely pragmatic."

 

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