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Practice managers back Summary Care Record

By Steve Nowottny

GP practice managers are generally supportive of the Summary Care Record and believe it will bring real benefits to patients, despite continuing concerns over security, according to an independent poll.

A survey of 435 practice managers and associated GP staff by Management in Practice magazine found that 66% believe the Summary Care Record will benefit patients, compared with just 2.6% who believe it will not.

Practice managers said the national rollout now underway would dramatically improve the information available to clinicians and also prevent potential abuse of the system by patients.

‘Clinicians will no longer have to rely on a patient giving an accurate history at every encounter,' an assistant practice manager from Bristol said.

Dr Gillian Braunold, Clinical Director for the Summary Care Record and Healthspace, said she was ‘delighted' by the findings.

‘Our managers understand the benefits the Summary Care Record will bring patients,' she said.

However security of care records remains a significant issue. Just 35% said they thought the Spine was secure, compared to 27% who said they believed it was not and 38% who said they did not know.

The survey also revealed how many practices are embracing technology as a means of improving patient access. More than three quarters of practices now allow repeat prescription requests via email, and one in five enable new patients to register online.

5% even reported carrying out email consultation developments – an encouraging figure for Connecting for Health as it prepares to pilot the new Communicator tool, which will permit e-consultations, later this month.

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