Health authorities have been told to press ahead with connecting all computerised GP practices to NHSnet by the end of the year, despite a recent flood of complaints about its electronic mail service.

Guidance from the NHS Executive indicates that just over£36.5m from modernisation funds will be used for the work in 1999-2000.

A health service circular says that 'as a default' all GP practices should be connected and able to use e-mail and a web browser from 'at least one desktop' by the end of December.

Further guidance is promised on the 'merits' of various connection and e-mail systems. All GPs should be connected to NHSnet by 2002.

Implementing Information for Health. http://tap.ccta.gov.uk/doh/coin4.nsf