Most emergency health services are using automated electronic systems to share and transmit patient assessments to GPs.
The sharing of such data is especially important for patients who have long-term health conditions, as they may need urgent and emergency care. They are also more likely to use a greater variety of treatment sites.
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In a detailed review of urgent and emergency care services in England, the Healthcare Commission says 79% of areas in the NHS are fully meeting national quality requirements for transmitting patient assessments to their GP by 8am the next working day.
The Commission says NHS Direct and out-of-hours GP services have established electronic links that enable patient data to be transferred between these services.
There is a variation, however, of between 24% and 86% in how often this happens in different areas of the NHS, said the commission. One reason for this is that NHS Direct does not always have up to date details of local services.