Two GP practices in Bolton are the first in the UK to begin trials of the NHS Care Records Service (CRS).
The Kearsley Medical Centre and the Kirby, Page and McMillen practices are the first adopters of the central electronic patient record, according to NHS Connecting for Health (CfH).
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The CRS is one of the main planks of the NHS National Programme for IT.
NHS staff, including doctors and nurses, across the Bolton area will now be able to view the summary care records of patients registered with the two practices, via a secure computer network.
Patients covered by the trials will receive letters explaining the service, and giving them the right to opt out of it on personal, privacy or security grounds.
The government argues that all NHS staff should have access to summary patient records to provide speedier and safer treatment, but privacy campaigners have argued against the shared network system.
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