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 Care Records by University College London centre on learning lessons from the early adopters and the national rollout in order to continually improve the care they are delivering."
She added that changes have already been made to the SCR scheme following an earlier UCL evaluation in 2008.
NHS CfH promotes the SCR scheme as having the potential to save patients lives by allowing doctors unfamiliar with a patient, for example an out-of-hours or hospital A&E doctor, to look up a patient's existing medication and allergies.
The BMA is concerned that patients have their medical details uploaded to the NPfIT Oracle-based SCR database automatically, unless they take the trouble to "opt out" by completing an online form, or obtaining a hard copy form from their GP.
Publicity campaigns explaining what SCRs are - featuring leaflet drops, advice centres and local media coverage - have begun.
But surveys have shown that most patients have no knowledge of the SCR scheme even if they have received the leaflets - which suggests that when people receive a package in the post on the SCR it goes straight in the bin as if it were junk mail.
Many BMA members want patients to give their specific and informed consent - opt in - before medical details are uploaded to the BT-run data "spine".
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