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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Big GP pay rises to vanish under amended contract

Practices will have their patient records checked for quality before the information is loaded on to the national electronic record.

PCTs will use a new audit tool to interrogate records to check whether data has been recorded in correct formats and that diagnoses are properly recorded.

From summer 2006 'major' diagnoses, procedures and allergies and current prescriptions will then be loaded from GPs' records to the National Care Record.

The process was revealed in a new paper from Connecting for Health aimed at increasing awareness among GPs and the public of the Care Record.

Information relating to mental or sexual health will be excluded from the national record. There will also be no 'sealed envelope' of sensitive data.

Instead the information will only be recorded on GPs' systems. The summary on the national record will state that the data is incomplete.

Dr Gillian Braunold, GP clinical lead for Connecting for Health, said the national record, known as the spine, would only be able to handle simple data in its initial stages.

She said: 'We wanted to use the opportunity to pilot this approach in order to grow clinician and patient confidence.'

GPs will from this week receive generic booklets about Connecting for Health's various projects.

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