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Patient access to online records to be restricted to 'prospective' information, says minister

Ministers have said that patients will not be able to read any retrospective information from their GP records when they are allowed to access them online next year.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter told MPs that the Government had decided that patient record access will be ‘prospective’ from the time they are allowed access in 2015.

The move follows advice from the RCGP, in their ‘Patient Online: The Road Map’ sign-posting document published last year, which argued that the risks of patients seeing unsuitable information would pile work on practices to check all retrospective records.

Dr Poulter said in response to a parliamentary question: ‘Electronic access to patient records will cover new information placed on the patient’s record from the point that online access is made available in the patient’s general practitioner practice.’

‘This will apply to both existing patients and any new patients who register at the practice.’

The Government has an aim for all patients to have access to online patient records no later than April 2015, but the plans have been significantly watered down over recent months.

Pulse revealed last year that the GP contract for 2014/15 will include the requirement for GPs to provide online access to the information included in the Summary Care Record ‘as a minimum’. NHS England also recently said it is looking at introducing a ‘time delay’ so GPs can manage how ‘certain test results are communicated’ in patient records.

A spokesperson for NHS England told Pulse: ‘We are developing definitive guidance on data sets and technical requirements for record access that will ensure maximum benefits to patients in managing their own health and care.’

‘We plan to publish this guidance early in 2014. The recommendation of what data should be accessible will go beyond the contractual minimum defined in the GMS contract.’

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Be fair: this Parliamentary Question was on 31st October 2013!
    If a week is a long time in politics, it can seem even longer in Ministerial NHS IT plans and promises!
    No telling what the plans are now..

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  • There is no such thing as retrospective access to GP records in real life. All members of the proletariat have the right under the Data Protection Act to see their GP record. On clause not to show the record is where it will do harm to the patient. Proving this would be almost impossible and very expensive.

    So I cannot get retrospective information on line. OOH dear - I have already got my GP records online 24 /7 - my GP put them on a disc for me years ago and I have put them in the cloud along side my hospital records, dental and ophthalmic records + my advanced directive etc.

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  • All of everybody's personal information should be online...everything! Otherwise what would hackers in Russia and Belarus do with themselves...we need to be putting as much personal information on line as possible...protected by a password of cause! ....these guys needs stuff to hack ...they've got family's to feed just like everyone else and British people can do there bit by collectively publishing all sensitive medical information en mass as soon as possible!

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