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Tell patients about the Care Record

GPs should start telling patients about the National Care Record now because a planned national advertising campaign is happening too late, the BMA is warning.

It says patients need to be told as soon as possible about how the system, due to be

introduced next year, will hold and share information about their health and medical appointments.

In a letter to the profession, BMA chair Mr James Johnson said the NHS Care Record would bring significant changes to

the way patient health care

information was recorded and accessed.

'The BMA would like patients to be able to make a positive informed decision to share their medical records if they feel that is right for them,' he said.

'This type of approach will have the added advantage of providing an opportunity for both doctors and patients to check the accuracy of the information before it is shared.'

He said patients whose records contained information about unwanted pregnancies, mental illness and HIV status in particular would need to be reassured they had the right to keep this information between themselves and their doctor.

Dr Grant Ingrams, deputy chair of the GPC's IT subcommittee, said it was crucial that GPs were provided with information by the NHS to enable them to answer patients' questions.

He said: 'They need to get

the information to doctors so that doctors know it's round the corner and what it is, but also what areas are not formalised yet.'

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