BMA calls for review of Choose and Book and Summary Care Records

The Chairman of the British Medical Association’s GPs Committee today listed programmes that he said should be cut or reviewed because of the financial crisis and the need for savings.

In his speech to the annual LMC Conference, Dr Laurence Buckman said that although there has been record investment in the NHS in recent years, there are “worrying” times ahead, because the government needs to make major savings.

Cutting spending onmanagement consultants was one way to save money. Strategic healthauthorities, primary care trusts and NHS trusts spent up to £1,000 a dayon management consultants – a total of £308.5m on in 2007/8, he said.

Too much was spent on managers. “Many management jobs seem toexist with the sole purpose supporting successive NHSreorganisations and top-down initiatives of the previous government.Micro-management of GP practices is expensive and unnecessary.”

Incalling for reviews of two NPfIT schemes – Choose and Book and theSummary Care – Buckman said :

•    Choose and Book – Manypractices find the e-booking element of Choose and Book useful. However,the ‘Choose’ element is laboriously bureaucratic and requires a lot ofexpensive NHS staff time, and management. The system is now regularlyused to ration demand and meet the 18 week waiting times target by PCTs.In practical terms it is often difficult for patients to exercise realchoice.

•   The current ‘consent to view’ model of the SummaryCare Record – the BMA agreed to the current consent model duringSCR pilots, on the basis that there would be a thorough independentevaluation before it was rolled out further. This is due to be publishedsoon, and the premature roll-out of this scheme is costly andinappropriate.

In stopping short of calling for summary care records to be scrapped, Buckman may anger some local medical committee representatives.

The 2010 Local Medical Committee conference takes place today andtomorrow at Logan Hall, TheInstitute of Education, London. LMCs represent GP practices.


LMC conference to call for summary care records to be scrapped – E-Health Insider

Summary Care Records confidential draft report – some of its findings – IT Projects Blog

Coalition’sdisgraceful u-turn on summary care records – Big Brother Watch

Coalitionto leave summary care records little changed? – IT Projects Blog



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