SPIRE timeline


The Scottish Government set up a short-life working group to consider benefits of improved use of GP data.


The Scottish Government Primary Care Division endorsed the working group recommendations and asked NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) to take this work forward under the name of SPIRE (Scottish Primary Care Information Resource).


A SPIRE Practice Information Day was held in August 2013 to discuss key themes and messages.

Report on Practice Information Day [83kb]

The contract notice for the SPIRE data extraction system was published by NSS in December 2013. Further information is available on the Public Contracts Scotland website.


The SPIRE Pathfinder Initiative launched on 23 September 2014, with 89 general practices signed up as pathfinders.

The SPIRE contract was awarded to MSD Informatics (MSDi) on 26 September 2014 after a rigorous procurement process conducted by NSS following Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) procedures. MSDi are contracted by NSS to provide some parts of this infrastructure, particularly the software that will be deployed to general practices to facilitate data extraction and reporting at practices.

See full details of the contract award notice


Pathfinder Workshops took place to discuss general practices' needs and preferences and keep them informed on aims and progress of SPIRE.

Communications with stakeholders such as Health Boards, the Scottish National Users Group (SNUG), Scottish Clinical Information Management in Practice (SCIMP), researchers and patient groups started.

A Public Information Campaign with a range of materials such as leaflets, web content, radio adverts and a practice toolkit, as well as an opt-out form for patients was developed between the Scottish Government and NSS. The Public Information Campaign was independently tested with the general public and feedback was gathered from patient representatives and health professionals from pathfinder practices.

Development of the SPIRE software continued, and the software was signed off for installation in December 2015.


Engagement with all NHS Boards took place to discuss plans for SPIRE Implementation.

Reports for SPIRE training for IT facilitators and practices were developed.

SPIRE installations took place in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, NHS Highland (North), NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Tayside, and training plans were consolidated. Training of GP Practices began in NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Improvements to software and infrastructure within NSS continued.

Public Information Campaign materials were reviewed and finalised, and the campaign was approved by the Scottish Government.


Deployment and training in NHS Boards continue.

The Public Information Campaign took place from 7 to 31 March 2017.