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Care records will improve patient safety

I write to put into context your article on the Summary Care Record project and Healthspace.

Bury PCT's area has been one of the first to benefit from the implementation of this initiative.

To date, about 93,000 out of a potential 136,000 Summary Care Records (for early adopters) have been loaded on to the NHS spine in the Bury PCT area.

Authorised clinical staff in the local A&E department and GP out-of-hours co-operative, for example, are already using this information to enhance the safety of their care.

The engagement plan for the care record was unprecedented and consisted of a personal letter and information to the home address of every eligible patient in the borough.

The PCT has endeavoured to provide good communication about the care record and to encourage patients and staff who are registered in the borough to view and be involved with their record if available, as part of an open and inclusive process.

Some patients have used their right of dissent to opt out of the process. Unfortunately, as your article highlighted, one practice has decided to take away the right from its patients to benefit from this exciting development.

We respect the practice's decision - it is not compelled to participate in the scheme.

The PCT remains committed to the principles of the Summary Care Record and Healthspace for the sole purpose of advancing the safety of patient care in the modern NHS.

Mr S Mills, chief executive, Bury PCT

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