§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many different IT systems are being used by GPs; and what plans he has to harmonise them. 
§ Mr. Hutton
There are 11 system suppliers who have a range of systems tested and accredited against Requirement for Accreditation (RFA) 99 (ver 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2) for use by general practitioners. Full details of each of these systems are available from the NHS Information Authority (NHS1A) website at: http://www.nhsia.nhs.uk/napps/rfatest/pages/temp.asp. The list does not include systems accredited against earlier versions of RFA, many of which are still being used by some primary care organisations.
The national programme for information technology in the National Health Service is currently developing an output based specification for the integrated care records service (ICRS), which will be made available to system suppliers to develop the next range of systems to support the needs of the NHS. This will include the requirements of primary care organisations. The purpose of the ICRS is to support the provision of high quality care across whole health communities. Ensuring the interoperability of applications and systems is a fundamental part of the specification for the ICRS and the supporting work of the National Design Authority.