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Saving drunks from Sunderland is no justification for Care Record

For a very long time I’ve suspected I’m in a minority of one. Because everyone else seems to get their knickers in such a knot about the confidentiality and consent issues surrounding the Summary Care Record (SCR).

For a very long time I've suspected I'm in a minority of one. Because everyone else seems to get their knickers in such a knot about the confidentiality and consent issues surrounding the Summary Care Record (SCR).

Yet I work in a practice population where the average punter in the local supermarket is quite happy to shout to me from fruit and veg, while I'm standing in wine and spirits, that, and I quote, ‘The cream you prescribed for that rash on my a**e was a f***ing waste of b****y time.' So I don't really see what all the fuss is about.

I do object to the SCR, though – simply on the basis that I think it's the biggest waste of time and money since the DoH's last enormous waste of time and money (and my short term memory is such that I can't remember what last week's Big Idea was).

I just don't get it. We've survived for years without an SCR. Patients usually know what they're taking and what they're allergic to. And if they don't, it rarely matters much, or it can be established without much difficulty (I may be a luddite, but I can use a phone).

Here's the Government's explanatory guide for patients. You'll notice that the justification given is that you might be from Sunderland and fall unconscious on holiday in Devon, which would cause the hospital staff no end of problems. After all, being unconscious, you can't speak for yourself, and the local docs can't possibly understand your relatives, because they speak Mackem.

Cue tragedy. Except that this scenario is so unlikely it's not worth fretting about. Plus the diagnosis is obvious anyway (Mackem + scrumpy = coma). Besides, what's the worst that could happen? Someone from Sunderland dies? OK, it would put a dampener on the holiday, but is it really worth shedloads of NHS cash?

My other objection to the SCR is that any alleged hi-tech improvement to our marvellous NHS invariably leads to enormous great screw-ups. You just know that using the SCR will waste time and paper rather than save both.

So forgive my hollow laugh when I read this story about the first hospital to adopt the SCR. Hilarious and completely predictable. The icing on the cake would have been if someone had died in the queue the ridiculous SCR created.

Especially if he was from Sunderland.

Copperfield: Summary Care Record the biggest waste of time since...the last one the DH came up with

Any alleged hi-tech improvement to our marvellous NHS invariably leads to enormous great screw-ups

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