GPs accuse PCTs of "misinformation" over summary care records

Some GPs are concerned about the accuracy of patient data to be uploaded

The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Local Medical Committee – which represents GP Practices in the region – says that some GPs have been “particularly angered” by a letter on the summary care records scheme, which has been sent by primary care trusts to local patients.

The letter included a statement that the summary care record was supported by GPs.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire LMC’s May newsletter says: “Despite our protestations at the highest level we were unable to stop this letter being sent to patients, and therefore have written to local papers in Bedfordshire and Luton to correct this misinformation.”


The criticism by the LMC is further evidence of the discordance between the enthusiasm of PCTs for the SCR rollout and GP practice doubts over the scheme. 

The LMC says that “many GPs in the area remain concerned about theirresponsibilities as data controllers under the Data Protection Act withregard to uploading personal information about their patients onto acentral database; many have expressed their concern about the securityof this data and the accuracy of the data to be uploaded”.

TheLMC is also concerned about the speed of the SCR rollout and uploadingof records. “Despite assurance from the BMA and the Department of Healththat the accelerated roll-out has been stopped, the SHA and PCTs arecontinuing to plan to start uploading in the next few months.”

Thenewsletter continues:

“We also remain concerned that theroll-out has been started without waiting for the independentreport on the pilot studies.

“That having been said, we areworking at Strategic Health Authority level and with the other LMCs inthe East of England to draw up agreed criteria which all PCTs mustsatisfy before they can approach practices to enable the uploading ofthe SCR.

“These include ensuring that patients are made fullyaware of the implications of the SCR upload (by receiving far moreinformation than they have already) and that practices have been fullyengaged and trained.

“It is important for practices to understandthat they will have the final say when their patients’ records aredownloaded onto the central spine, not the PCT, but in the meantime theStrategic Health
Authority and PCTs are working hard to engage withthe LMC and practices to make this happen.”

MeanwhileConservative NPfIT minister Simon Burns has indicated that the summarycare records schemewill continuemuch as it did under Labour.

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Thank you to GP Neil Bhatia for drawing my attention to the newsletter.

Links:

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

Confidentialreport on summary care records finds that the “spine” database isinaccurate – IT
 Projects Blog

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