Chris Netherton

Chris Netherton

Managing Director, Microtest

This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the healthcare IT industry.

We are now well into Phase 2 of the GP Suppliers of Choice (GPSoC) framework, which is a medium-term effort to promote the consistency of Interface Mechanisms provided by GP IT Clinical Systems.

Whilst facilitated by the GPSoC GP Connect Team at HSCIC, the healthcare system supplier community has been invited to work together to define, develop and deliver a common interface mechanism. This challenging work is now happening through the GP Connect Project, also known as Interface Mechanism Phase 2 (IM2) project.

This fresh approach to the future represents a real step change from the first phase of GPSoC. Across many areas, there is now a radically different goal. So what does the future look like?

Let’s take a glimpse at just three areas as examples. Rather than different technical interfaces, there will be uniform technical interfaces. Rather than suppliers having proprietary interface specs that are not visible to others, there will be consistent and open interface specs. And rather than private test environments, there will be publicly available test environments.

In a great deal of other areas too, this new era of collaborative working will make a radical difference.

With all suppliers now actively developing structured FHIR XML messaging to provide patient record sharing, we are able to build on our own extensive experience in this kind of interoperable software.

As we are already so far ahead of the field in developing our own structured XML approach to integration, this is allowing us to launch our ‘Open Evolution’ product now, in advance of the completion of the IM2 project later this year.

Once the IM2 project is completed and healthcare IT suppliers have jointly agreed to this new open and collaborative approach, there is no question that it will help accelerate innovation and drive up standards across the industry. Success is dependent on a new open approach by all in the supplier community. The future of healthcare in the UK depends on us all individually rising to the challenge.


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