Why opt-out forms aren't in Summary Care Records patient info packs

Millions of information packs on the Summary Care Records are due to be sent to patients across England. The SCR is a central database of medical information. It’s part of the NHS IT programme, the NPfIT.

Many GPs say the information packs should include an opt-out form. Otherwise patients who wish to opt out may not do so because they’d have to ask for a form or go online. London GPs have taken the decision to make it easier for their patients to opt-out.

In a letter to GPs this month, GP Gillian Braunold, the NHS Connecting for Health Clinical Director of Summary Care Records and HealthSpace, says why opt-put forms are not included in patient information packs.


She says that experience from early adopters showed that patients”misread the opt out form and filled in everything, including the optout form and sent it back in the pre paid envelope when in fact this isnot what they wanted”.

Braunold:

“We include a pre-paid envelope and order form for patientsto request additional information (e.g. the Care Record Guarantee,information in different languages or in Braille).

“Experience from the early adopters showed that patients misread theopt out form and filled in everything, including the opt out form andsent it back in the pre paid envelope when in fact this is not whatthey wanted.

“Most importantly through the opt out forms must be returned to the GPpractice and there is a significant risk that those patients who wantto opt out complete the opt out form and include in the pre-paidenvelope which then would not be sent to the GP practice to be actedupon accordingly.”

London GPs make it easier for patients to opt out – ComputerWeekly.com

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I must say the new Summary Care Record has my support,if you have ever been a patient with more then one illness turning up to find your medical record file is missing is very distressing indeed.This new system will support the less able in our society to receive and more importantly understand what they are being told.The use of online information is essential for good healthcare.

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