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Independents' Day

Hunt wants 15% of NHS users to access GP record via smartphone app in 2016/17

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he wants 15% of NHS users to regularly access their GP record via smartphone apps by 2016/17.

The ambition, set out at the NHS England Health and Care Innovation Expo yesterday, comes amid the Government’s plan for all GP records to be made available to patients online next year, and all hospital records in 2018.

But Mr Hunt went even further by suggesting patients should be able to modify their patient record via smartphone and plug in devices such as digital step counters to upload data to their record.

Defending plans of which GP leaders remain wary, Mr Hunt said that experience from other countries ‘suggests that opening up access to your own medical record leads to a profound change in culture in a way that is transformative for people with complex or long term conditions’.

He said: ‘Powerful patients need to know about the quality of healthcare being provided, but they also need to be able to harness the many innovations now becoming possible… [and] I also want patients not just to be able to read their medical record on their smartphone but to add to it, whether by recording their own comments or by plugging in their own wearable devices to it.’

Mr Hunt said the CQC’s inspections into data security standards at GP practices, due to begin next April, would instil faith among patients that their data was safe. He said the CQC was currently determining what the inspections would look at and would report by the end of January.

But the BMA said there was ‘a big difference between being able to physically view private records in a secure, controlled environment of a practice and via a password that could be obtained by a third party’.

A spokesperson said: ‘There are few safeguards that could be put in place to stop vulnerable patients being coerced by, for example, abusive partners, into giving access to their records. The government must also ensure that the system is not susceptible to security breaches that have happened with other online data.’

RCGP chair Professor Maureen Baker said: ‘GPs are under incredible pressure… and we simply do not have the resources to analyse data that patients upload to their records.’

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Readers' comments (11)

  • FFS goverment and successful value for money IT initative dont quite go together.So much for security of data.

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  • and let me guess that will be on my own self funded smartphone with data use at my own expense.......

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  • Very laudable assuming data protection, if we had more time, but we don't. It will just make general practice even more unattractive.

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  • well all know the data protection holes here and risks for that, but ffs does any body have time to go reading any junk the patient "posts" on their record such as step count? another thing to add to my overloaded workflow for the day of reading the worried well silver surfers walking habits. maybe I should check their facebook status daily too?

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  • It is a good idea. Unfortunately things like this will only serve the middle class health conscious people, who conversely often need this sort of thing the least. However I think it is an idea worth pursuing but it is vital that what dr's and nurses write in the notes aren't out on it, rather results of tests and BP recordings etc. Otherwise it really does have potential to cause conflict.

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  • Why is this wanted??? Who is the IT company you pals with? Who cleans up the mess, us.

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  • Smartphone app = IT companies
    Dave's dementia drive= big pharma and useless drugs

    Personal budgets= Thomas Cook
    Rest my case

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Above work not week

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  • Dear All,
    In japan you can buy loos that test your urine for glucose as you pee and weigh you before and after to work out how much poo you've shifted. Would this be usefull to have in our records?
    Paul C

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  • 15%- another figure plucked from the air!

    Just change GP to MP everytime a hairbrained scheme comes out and see if that would refocus the minds!
    MPs to provide Sat and Sunday access.
    MPs to get 1% payrise
    MPs expenses rise by 16% (no expenses allowance scheme)
    MPs indemnity rises as government refuses to indemnify
    MPs tto be appraised once a year and revalidated every 5.
    MPs to be paid by capitation and by outcome measures- Oh the joy of giving Mps a QoF scheme, Friends and Family, MPs choices website, MPCQC, MP monitor, MPEngland in charge of contracts. Beginning to enjoy myself now.

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