Amid concerns of that a hung parliament will hamper NHS IT reform, there has been scaremongering, GP confusion and a lack of patient information threats to the summary care records (SCR) network.
The NHS Connecting for Health website issued a document warning people of the dangers of not having an electronic health records – stating that health care staff might be unaware of current medication, conditions or allergies in order to treat you safely and effectively. They argued that not having one of these records might be risky.
The grounds of which to upload a record has also confused GPs, as trust push ahead despite the DH announcing a halt after concerns over patient information.
Currently 1.25 million records reside on the system, some it is feared without patient knowledge and aims for 50 million records to be computerised eventually. Criticisms have engulfed the proposed system with an avalanche of technical difficulties and restrictions on patient’s ability to opt out.
The 2020health report Fixing NHS IT; a plan of action for a new government we suggest a halt on the SCR roll out for review to consider covering clinical validation, architecture, security and the business case. Re-purposing the SCR as an ‘urgent care record’ should be considered with the intent to simplify, clarify purpose, address the concerns of the BMA, other professional organisations and patients.
Both the Tories and Liberals in their manifestos declared they wanted to give people control of their own health records. A hung parliament might also mean a space for greater interoperability and local working.
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