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Hunt: Care home staff should update GP records every day

Jeremy Hunt has restated his ambition to give care homes the power to make daily updates to the GP record, despite GP leaders arguing the move could undermine the record as a clinical tool.

At the National Children and Adult Services Conference on Thursday, the health secretary added that a patient’s named GP would then be able to check their condition ‘daily’ via the online record.

He also urged hospitals to increase the pace of electronic record adoption, lamenting that the NHS still has to ‘employ people whose main job is to input the contents of faxes from hospitals onto electronic health records in GP surgeries’.

Mr Hunt said: ‘Shouldn’t residential care homes be able, with a patient’s consent, to update someone’s condition onto their GP record on a daily basis?’

‘We’ve introduced named GPs for all over 75s this year, rolling out to everyone next year. But we could make this much more meaningful if the responsible GP was able to check on someone’s condition on a daily basis just by looking at their record on a computer.’

However GPC deputy chair, Dr Richard Vautrey said that the plans did not fall within the scope of this year’s GP contract.

He told Pulse: ‘The contract agreement is about patients accessing coded data in their record, it is not for them, or their carer to add to or change the record.’

Dr Vautrey added that some IT systems allow access to a common record with GPs, but said opening up the GP record further posed problems.

He told Pulse: There are a whole host of risks that could occur, and governance and confidentiality issues that would need to be addressed, if more and more people start to add information to the record.’

‘The risk of overwhelming records with data and notes is that it actually makes it a less not more useful clinical tool.’

Mr Hunt first raised the idea of giving care homes access to GP records in December last year, and at the time NHS England told Pulse ‘work is in development and is ongoing and we are not in a position at this stage to confirm or rule out care home access and the governance arrangements for that.’

Readers' comments (53)

  • Roll on 'early' retirement. I will be out the door if this becomes reality. Hunt can do this without me. General Practice is becoming unrecognisable.

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  • ...and all GPs should check all their patients record daily, do ward rounds twice weekly in residential home, nursing homes and hostels. and there should be a system to have an on call 24x7 GP from each surgery...but do we have so much time to do all this, do we have the numbers to do all this. some residential home staff writes something on the notes, whose responsibility is it to act on it, what are the legal implications, what happens when consent cannot be obtained?.. where does this stop

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  • The man has clearly never read a nursing home record!!!!!!!

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  • This is complete bollocks!
    Who is going to read these 'updates'?
    As far as I am concerned that will go into a seperate file that I will never refer to.
    It is absurd that an essentially lay person knowing nothing about Medicine, General Practice or the purpose of the medical record is allowed to interfere in this way.

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  • This is just absurd. The man is losing his marbles.

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  • hahahahahaha

    that is all I have to say

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  • I fear majority of care home staff will not be confident to input any clinically relevant information to a GP system. What's wrong with them ringing surgery, leaving a message in book re any progress on an ill resident ?

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  • ? losing his marbles...more like lost them a long time ago and spurting so much BS .....I like him to shadow me on a couple of on-calls ( start 6 am at my desk for paperwork, leave if lucky at 7 pm ) and come along to a few Nursing Home visits......

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  • Seriously how does this guy get any air time and is the public really that dumb to believe his rhetoric
    Worse still BMA RCGP LMC MPS MDU MDDS where are you guys Where the hell are you where ?

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  • Sadly nothing could more clearly show Mr Hunt;s lack of understanding of the specialist health role that GPs perform and the support role of carers. A continual stream of information without filter would be impossible to manage and carers are not trained to provide a useful distillation of information to support routine ongoing care by a GP. Carers may be very good at providing information when condition changes, providing relevant data on a continuous basis is not something that has any proven value nor that they have the training, capability or capacity to provide.

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