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Half of GPs will refuse to take part in Summary Care Record rollout

By Steve Nowottny

The national rollout of the Summary Care Record faces foundering on a wall of opposition from GPs after it emerged that half are refusing to take part.

A Pulse survey of 314 GPs showed a slight thawing in the profession's attitude to the plans, with 56% now supportive and one in three saying Connecting for Health's switch to a ‘consent to view' model had helped win them round.

Yet 49% said they still had no intention of taking part in the programme when a rollout beyond six early adopter PCTs begins next April, and 51% said they would not share their own records.

One in five said they planned a blanket opt-out and would automatically remove all their patients from the scheme – a claim which drew an exasperated response from Connecting for Health.

A spokesperson said: ‘It is the patient's choice if they would prefer to opt out of having a Summary Care Record created.'

Dr Catti Moss, a GP in Guilsborough in Northamptonshire, said she planned to opt out all her patients' records because she considered ‘a major data leak almost certain'.

‘The whole idea of having a unified record system for the whole NHS is potentially disastrous,' she said.

‘It would have been faster, safer and more reliable to have simply concentrated on developing systems for existing systems to communicate safely and securely.'

Dr George Paige, a GP in Coventry, added: ‘The changes to consent are a move in the right direction but unenforcable with any corrupt user of the spine.

‘I do not believe with the hundreds of thousands of people working for the NHS that none is corrupt or unbribeable.'

A Connecting for Health spokesperson remained tight-lipped on how plans for a wider rollout were progressing, but said: ‘There are no plans to incentivise rollout.'

GPs also expressed fears over widening access to the Summary Care Record, with four in five opposing access to records for pharmacists – a proposal the Department of Health is considering.

Summary Care Record still faces huge resistance Summary Care Record faces huge resistance

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