Is Summary Care Records rollout speeding up as GPs urge caution?

Silicom.com reports that the Department of Health and NHS Connecting for Health are pushing ahead with the national roll-out of Summary Care Records, not waiting for the results of £700,000 study they commissioned to “inform the national roll-out of the SCR”.

All the signs are that the DH and NHS CfH are trying to roll-out the SCR as soon as possible, whether or not doctors and independent advise a slow-down.
 
Silicon.com says that the DH commission has commissioned, at a cost of £723,411, a further study by SCR experts at the University College London on the roll-out. It is due to report next month.

A DH spokeswoman said that the UCL evaluation will “still be useful” although the national roll-out is well underway.


She said: “The terms of reference for the evaluation of Summary CareRecords by University College London centre on learning lessons fromthe early adopters and the national rollout in order to continuallyimprove the care they are delivering.”

She added that changes have already been made to the SCR scheme following an earlier UCL evaluation in 2008.

NHSCfH promotes the SCR scheme as having the potential to save patients lives byallowing doctors unfamiliar with a patient, for example an out-of-hoursor hospital A&E doctor, to look up a patient’s existing medicationand allergies.

The BMA is concerned thatpatients have their medical details uploaded to the NPfIT Oracle-basedSCR database automatically, unless they take the trouble to “opt out”by completing an online form, or obtaining a hard copy form from theirGP.

Publicity campaigns explaining what SCRs are – featuring leaflet drops, advice centres and local media coverage – have begun.

Butsurveys have shown that most patients have no knowledge of the SCRscheme even if they have received the leaflets – which suggests thatwhen people receive a package in the post on the SCR it goes straightin the bin as if it were junk mail.

Many BMA members wantpatients to give their specific and informed consent – opt in – beforemedical details are uploaded to the BT-run data “spine”.

Links:

University College London report on the SCR – 2008 – UCL website

Action by London GPs over the SCR – IT Projects Blog

Police investigate smartcard security breach as SCR begins roll-out in London – IT Projects Blog

SCR roll-out too hasty says BMA – E-Health Insider

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