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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Tories want PBC groups to hold records

By Lilian Anekwe

GP commissioning groups could be handed control of patient records as part of an overhaul of general practice IT, the Conservatives have said.

The idea is part of its plans to rip up plans for a national Summary Care Record system, to be replaced by a series of locally led services.

Shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien criticised the Labour Government for implementing ‘IT for IT's sake', and said the NHS spine offered ‘no benefits' over and above rigorous GP record-keeping.

Instead he said the Conservatives would host patient records in a variety of settings including individual GP practices, online and on smartcards, but with control held locally by GP commissioners rather than a central state-held database.

‘We can secure a better deal for both patients and the tax payer if records were held locally. We will ensure all health records are held locally, within the trusted patient-doctor relationship,' Mr O Brien said.

‘Locally here does not mean the SHA. It is more to do with PCTs in the current structure but also GP commissioners. There will be a need for more general commissioning skills. I think peer pressure will spur GPs on, and we need not be worried that they would not take on the responsibility.

‘Storing locally means allowing doctors to measure the outcome of a patient's care, and allows other accessors, such as researchers and hospitals aggregated information, from patients who give individual consent.'

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