Public Accounts Committee

General Practice extraction service inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Report published 31 December 2015 

Scope of the inquiry

The General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) is an IT system designed to allow NHS organisations to extract data from all GP practice computer systems in England. This data would be used to monitor quality, plan and pay for health services and help medical research.

The National Audit Office conducted an investigation into the service following concerns raised during a financial audit of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The investigation found that the project had been delayed and only one customer, NHS England, had so far received data from GPES. Mistakes in the original procurement and contract management contributed to losses of public funds, through asset write-offs and settlements with suppliers. However, the need for the service remains and further public expenditure is needed to improve GPES or replace it.

This inquiry will examine the procurement and development of the GPES system, the total expected cost of the GPES programme, which increased from £14 million to £40 million during planning and procurement, and how the capability of GPES can be used to provide a suitable data extraction service in the future.

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