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Patients should be able to add to and correct their own records, Field says

Exclusive: Patients look set to be allowed to add to their GP records and agree transfer of information to other parts of the NHS, under plans being considered by the Department of Health.

Professor Steve Field, chair of the NHS Future Forum, revealed at a parliamentary meeting last week that it wanted ministers to go much further than plans announced to allow patients to access their full record by 2015.

Professor Field said patients should be able to correct errors, transfer data and enter information about their health directly into patient records: ‘Patients should "own their records" and be able to input into them to keep information up to date. They also will be able to correct errors. This is what we mean by access. What you can't have is patients removing important clinical information. But [there are] examples of patients who have accessed records remotely when in hospital, which helped their care.'

Dr Joanne Bailey, a GP in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, and a member of the GPC's IT subcommittee, said: ‘I am not against this in principle, but have concerns. Patient input into and correction of the record – and I mean separate patient annotations – require system design changes.'

A DH spokesperson said the Government's Information Strategy would be published shortly.

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