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Care Record delayed by two years

The roll-out of the national electronic patient record will be delayed by up to two-and-a-half years, the Government has admitted.

Lord Warner, health minister, said delays by suppliers to the National Programme for IT in delivering the required software meant the Care Record would not be in place until 2008.

The admission is a huge blow to the £6.2 billion programme, which has been beset by delays and complications.

Implementation of the Care Record had already been hit by controversy over confidentiality and whether patients should have to specifically consent

to their information being included.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Lord Warner admitted the Government had had to 'regroup'.

He also conceded the programme had failed to engage clinicians at the start.

He said: 'That is possibly a fair criticism. We possibly could have got into the game earlier, and we could probably have done it better earlier on.'

Limited pilots of the summary Care Record will begin at the end of the year.

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