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Upload of patient care records suspended

Medical records will not be uploaded to a central computer system in some parts of the country until the public is made more aware of the move, the government has agreed.

The British Medical Association raised fears that some regions were seeing an accelerated rollout of the summary care record without proper consent from patients.

More than 1.25 million patient records have already gone online and some 50 million will be uploaded on to the database over time.

The record contains basic details like name, allergies, medication and adverse reactions, with further details possibly being added over time.

Patients in some regions have received letters about the records, giving them the chance to opt out of having one created online.

But the BMA said last month the programme was happening too fast in some parts of England and called for a suspension.

The Department of Health has now told the BMA records will not go online in accelerated rollout areas until there is greater public and professional awareness.

Dr Grant Ingrams, chairman of the BMA’s GP IT committee, said: “This is a positive step.

“Summary care records have the potential to improve healthcare for patients if implemented appropriately.”

Readers' comments (5)

  • and they have made it a real hassle to opt out........BIG BROTHER'S WATCHING!

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  • gives explanation and opt out letter template

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  • I have already wrote a letter to my GP to inform him and request that I am not included on this system, I believe it is an abuse of our privacy and also considering how much information has not been kept safe by PCT's or the government I am not willing to have my information available online. A number of my children have also sent out letters requesting to be omitted from these records. I would like to know (if anyone out there can tell me?) how I have my 9 year old son's records removed or stopped from entering on to these records?
    The fact that Labour were able to target patients who had been diagnosed with cancer recently as part of their electioneering beggars belief! I would have thought that Data Protection would have made it impossible to obtain the names and addresses of these individuals. Tell me you aren't worried after that little fiasco because I am!! If someone can hack into NASA this record system should be easy to access and abuse.

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  • Don't see what the worry is. So people will be able to see an overview of your medical history … so what?! It may stop potentially harmful treatment when you're admitted to hospital, such as Diclofenic being prescribed for somone who's had a perforated gastric ulcer.

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  • Surely, this stream lining of information will help patients in the long run. Of course there are security issues but we have to get used to having to using technology in health care. If patient histories could be up loaded easily there would be more accuracy and less time wasted.We have to ask will this improve patient care and NHS efficency . Overall is this in the best interest of the patient? Security of information is of paramount importance.We are happy to use computors for on line banking and there has never been a public outcry on the over use of CCTV in this country. Yet we are extremely worried about the use of data that could save lives

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