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Access to care records 'must be limited to those with clinical role', BMA warns

By Gareth Iacobucci

GPs and consultants are insisting anyone not actively involved in a patient's treatment be blocked from accessing their record, amid fears that the Summary Care Record rollout is a huge threat to patient confidentiality.

Representatives at the BMA's Annual Representative Meeting backed a motion urging that ‘a proper identity and access management system must be in place across the NHS'.

The motion called for access to electronic patient records to be role-based, and ‘normally only be possible when there is a current clinical relationship with the patient'.

Doctors also backed a separate motion ‘deploring' the accelerated rollout of the Summary Care Record, and voted for patients who wish their SCR to be uploaded centrally to be asked to give their explicit consent.

Dr Mary Church, a GP in Lanarkshire, who proposed the motion on safeguards, said: ‘Health service staff should only have access to the level of information they require to carry out their duties.'

‘And it is essential we know who has looked at which records and when, so we can ensure only appropriate access. To do this you need to give staff a unique electronic identity as soon as they start work and which can be removed when they leave their post.'

She added: ‘It is a disgrace to hear that new hospital doctors have to borrow others' passwords in order to work in their new post because they have not yet been given their own password.'

BMA leaders have demanded greater confidentiality guarantees as the care record rollout continues BMA leaders have demanded greater confidentiality guarantees as the care record rollout continues

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