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Love me tender, pleads GP

GPs raised a series of technical and ethical questions about electronic transfer of patient records at the first public demonstration of the system.

But they praised Connecting for Health for showing an unfinished version of the technology and promising to listen to their concerns.

GP-to-GP records transfer will save practices time rekeying, reviewing and summarising data, and will end six-week waits for notes and crucial medical information.

Dr Mary Hawking, a GP in Dunstable, said it was unacceptable that the practice receiving a record could not tell which doctor in which practice had entered information.

'There should be a simple way of adding something to say it is imported,' she said.

Other issues discussed included how attachments and quality framework data are transferred and how data is treated if a system does not recognise codes properly.

Live testing of EMIS-to-EMIS transfers will begin later this month in Gateshead.

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