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Shaping the future of technology in general practice

Dan Wintercross explains the benefits of getting involved with the early adopter programme, which is giving GP practices the opportunity to shape the future of digital, data and technology in primary care.  

We established the early adopter programme to enable primary care networks, GP practices and integrated care systems, to shape new clinical digital systems. It is an opportunity for GP practices to receive funding to work in partnership with suppliers to make sure new systems are developed to meet the needs of primary care settings and their patients.

Image of Dan Wintercross sitting in an office

We understand that having the right digital tools is essential to providing the best patient care, that’s why we are looking for GP practices to inform, explore and test the new digital systems to make sure they are designed with users in mind. We are already working with 6 integrated care systems across England, covering more than 30 early adopter practices, and we’re looking for more practices to get involved.

The benefits of being an early adopter:

  • practices will collaborate with Tech Innovation Framework (TIF) suppliers to provide invaluable insights to help shape and build digital systems that work for their practice and primary care more broadly
  • participating practices will receive funding with no obligation to migrate to new clinical system
  • we’ll work with practices through every stage of the process, including supporting the implementation of any systems

The new core clinical systems developed through the early adopter programme will support general practice staff to spend more time addressing patient needs while also reducing administrative burden.

The Tech Innovation Framework (TIF)

The early adopter programme is part of our new TIF, the third framework within the Digital Care Services catalogue, which provides innovative digital services across various health and care settings.

We’re working with suppliers to introduce a choice of intuitive, innovative and modern systems.

Through the TIF, we’re working with suppliers to introduce a choice of intuitive, innovative and modern systems which can integrate with wider healthcare organisations, such as community pharmacy and secondary care. We aim to drive higher standards and create a more dynamic market, while facilitating a seamless flow of data to support better outcomes for patients and clinicians.

The Digital Care Services catalogue is underpinned by a standardised capability model. This means all digital products are designed and built to the same consistent standards. The core clinical systems being developed through the TIF will offer a host of new capabilities and standards. They will be cloud-first, available over public internet, browser based, and offer a modern user experience and open APIs. The systems will also include new functionality for clinicians and patients and better data reporting. The required standards will help practices meet their obligations as set out in the digital and online service requirements.

Organisations can find, compare and order assured digital products and services from approved suppliers through the Buying Catalogue.

Early adopter support and funding

We appreciate the pressures facing general practice and understand they may have concerns about the required resource commitment. However, we will support practices throughout the process to ensure they can contribute to the programme in a way that works for them. We believe the benefits of implementing a new cloud-based digital system strongly outweigh the work involved in the initial stages.

As an early adopter of a new system, practices can access specialist assistance to help embed change, including advice, support, guidance, and an accessible toolkit of resources. Funding and support are available at each stage of the early adopter journey, including:

  • discovery
  • change planning
  • implementation and migration
  • post-migration

By joining the early adopter programme during the discovery phase, practices are not obligated to make any changes or move to the next phase. To qualify for funding, practices will need the support of their integrated care service.

The suppliers are hosting a series of sessions as part of TIF Expo 2023 between 14 and 28 February. Find out more and book your place

Read more about how to become an early adopter of a new clinical system. To express an interest in becoming an early adopter, please contact

Related subjects

NHS Digital has launched the new Tech Innovation Framework to boost innovation and choice in the primary care IT market. Justine Brightwell, Head of the GP IT Futures programme at NHS Digital, explains more.
Kathryn Salt, Head of Service for Open Data and Publications, and winner of the 'Women in IT Awards Data Leader of the year' 2021, provides an insight into how the data collected by GPs is being used, how it's helping to save lives and what the challenges are for the future.


Last edited: 25 January 2023 3:13 pm