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At the heart of general practice since 1960

RCGP throws weight behind electronic care records

By Steve Nowottny

The RCGP has controversially thrown its weight behind the national rollout of the Summary Care Record - just days after LMC leaders called for the implied consent model to be scrapped.

The college said concerns over security of records and patient confidentiality had now been resolved, and argued ‘the need for a shared record is compelling'.

It comes as it emerged that at least one in five PCTs across England are now drawing up plans for the implementation of the Summary Care Record.

In a report in the BMJ, RCGP chair Professor Steve Field and RCGP vice-chair Dr Clare Gerada said improvements to security and last year's switch to the ‘consent to view' model had convinced them the Summary Care Record was now fit for purpose.

They wrote: ‘We had concerns over this scheme initially but now believe there are enough checks and balances to make it a significant move forward in patient safety and clinical care.'

Dr Gillian Braunold, National Clinical Director for the Summary Care Record, said she was ‘delighted' at the RCGP's comments.

But Dr Chris Woods, a GP in Bolton who earlier this month warned the LMCs conference GPs were ‘sleepwalking into a very bad dream', said the RCGP should reconsider its stance given concerns over the ‘enrichment' of Summary Care Records without consent.

LMC leaders in Bolton, the first area in the country to pilot the Summary Care Record, have objected to GPs being able to massively increase the amount of information held about patients on care records without the need for explicit consent - a practice given the green light by Connecting for Health and the Medical Protection Society.

‘It doesn't sound necessarily as though that particular thing has been addressed by the RCGP,' he said.

Dr Clare Gerada: care records now fit for purpose Dr Clare Gerada: care records now fit for purpose

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