Chris Netherton

Chris Netherton

Managing Director, Microtest

It is a truism that all businesses must constantly embrace change and adapt if they are to thrive.

It is certainly the case in the healthcare IT market, where suppliers need to simultaneously anticipate and respond to the changing demands of end users and also the fast pace of change in national healthcare contracts.

New national programmes like GP Connect, updated versions of GP2GP and GPES are all currently in gestation. NHS Digital are also in the early stages of defining what will replace the GP Systems of Choice framework from April 2018 onward, after the end of the current GPSoC-2 contract. Although this phase is being widely referred to as GPSoC-3, the next phase of GP It services delivery may be quite different and may in fact have a quite different name.

GP Connect will transform the landscape for suppliers, ensuring interoperability between systems. It will deliver the ‘coup de grace’ to the flawed notion that practices have to use the same system in order to reap the benefits of collaboration. It will also finally deliver the NHS’s long held ambition to create a market for primary care value-add applications – served by a market that can include small start-ups as well as established companies. This will be an important springboard for innovation and is likely to shake up the market, with the end user set to benefit from radically increased choice.

The next contractual framework will create a new opportunity. There is a real buzz here at Microtest as we carry out intensive planning and activity related to the contractual pre-requisites that we know about so far (for example SNOMED coding and a hosted service). The “behind the scenes” work that we have already done in reorganising our product range in the last few years matches the structure and approaches that we believe that NHS Digital will be asking for. So we are already extremely well placed for this next phase of the GP IT services delivery and we are really looking forward to the new opportunities it will create.

Amongst our many other exciting plans for the future, we are looking forward to bringing to market multi-platform versions of our leading added value applications.

The nation’s healthcare is of the utmost importance and at Microtest we pride ourselves on rising to meet every new challenge, with the overall objective of delivering the best possible patient care, well into the future.


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