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Call for public inquiry into IT programme

LMCs are to demand an urgent public inquiry into the cost of the National Programme for IT.

A conference motion also calls for an opt-in consent system and a new directed enhanced service to pay for the time involved in uploading care records. And it demands a guarantee that patients who refuse to share their data will not have services cut and insists 'lessons are learned' from early adopter sites.

An agenda committee motion declares 'conference is gravely concerned' by the implementation of electronic care records, and calls for the inquiry to examine if the IT programme is 'a cost-effective use of public funds'.

The call comes a month after a public accounts committee inquiry into the £12.4bn scheme called for 'urgent remedial action', warning 'the costs and benefits for the local NHS are unclear'.

Many, if not all, parts of the motion seem likely to find favour among a majority of GPs.

The BMA has led opposition to the 'opt-out' model for electronic care records, while a recent Pulse survey found 83% of GPs believe care records threaten confidentiality.

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