NHS Connecting for Health is this summer set to roll out IPstream across the N3 network at 11,000 GP surgeries and community provider units.

N3 programme manager Len Chard told HSJ Intelligence: “This will significantly improve the working capabilities of all the GPs across the network.”

During six months of trials with GPs in different locations and on all the major GP clinical systems, IPstream had consistently given GPs 3 to 4.5 times more usable bandwidth.

Mr Chard said: “The results have been consistently stunning.

“In practice it means that GPs will be able to access resources much quicker. Most of the suppliers offer web-based resources that they need even during consultations.”

It will also increase the speed at which practices can transmit documents.

CfH is currently working on the engineering processes for the roll out.

Mr Chard said: “One of the problems with the N3 installation was multiple engineering visits. We are designing processes now that mean it will generally done remotely with minimal disruption.”

It will take about a year to roll out to 11,000 practices and other community units such as community hospitals and walk in centres, he added.

The programme is centrally funded under the N3 contract although PCTs pay the running costs, which Mr Chard expects to fall as a result of IPstream.