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Choose and Book will 'add just one minute to GP consultations'

The National Programme for IT has strongly rejected newspaper claims that it was forced to halt the Choose and Book project in one area because of massive fears over patient confidentiality.

The Sunday Times claimed medical staff participating in pilot schemes warned the software gave any doctor access to any GP's patients' records and allowed them to make changes.

Quoting a leaked memo to managers of pilots in Barnsley, Harrogate and Haringey, the article said Choose and Book was behind schedule; that doctors in Barnsley had refused to use the system; that no live bookings had taken place and that the scheme had been temporarily halted.

In a statement the programme branded the article 'most irresponsible' and said the project had not been halted and was on schedule in all

areas.

It added that the central data 'spine' was a safer place to hold patient data than paper records and any inappropriate attempt to access 'sensitive' information such as HIV status would trigger an alarm.

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