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Warning on records workload for GPs

GPs face being swamped with a huge workload to explain new electronic records to patients, the House of Commons health select committee was warned.

On the final day of oral evidence to its inquiry on the records, Dr Howard Stoate, a Labour MP and GP in Dartford, Kent, said GPs may need to set aside two consultations per patient, first to explain the record and its content, then to adjust it according to a patient's wishes.

He said: 'On average there are 2,000 patients per GP. If you have two consultations with each that represents about half a year's GP contact time.

'All this is really pretty resource-intensive.'

But Dr Simon Eccles, Connecting for Health's national clinical lead for hospitals, denied GPs would face a lot more work.

'The majority of patients will be given a print-out of their record at the front desk without a consultation, and they will sign it off without a consultation,' he said.

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