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.’