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BMA concerned about timing for NHS app patient record access rollout


access concerns


The BMA has written to NHSX expressing concerns about plans to allow patients to access their GP record via the NHS app from next month.

It follows NHS Digital announcing that patients whose practices use TPP will be first to have access to their GP notes through the NHS App from December.

The BMA said, in a GPC email bulletin sent to GPs earlier this month, that it was ‘seeking a pause’ on the rollout to ‘ensure the views of the profession are better represented’, and that ‘the programme is delayed until there is appropriate time to work through our concerns’.

In its latest GPC bulletin, the BMA said it wrote to NHSX on 8 November to ‘outline concerns about the impact on patients and doctors’.

It said the letter showed support for the aims of the wider programme, but queried the ‘timing’ of the rollout and ‘whether the necessary infrastructure and support for practices were in place’.

The BMA said it would be in touch with practices ‘as soon as’ it knows more.

For EMIS practices, patients will be able to view new entries in their health records from early 2022. Discussions are still ongoing about Vision clinical systems.

From April 2020, GP practices have had to make online access to the full historic digital record available to patients on request.

Since May, patients have also been able to use the NHS App to prove their Covid vaccination status.

NHS England said in April that GPs must now transfer any Covid vaccination records that have been recorded locally or on paper into the central online system.

In August, the NHS said it is planning a review into the length of time it holds the GP records of de-registered patients, which is due to be completed by 2023.

De-registered refers to when a patient is no longer on the GP practice system and does not refer to patients still registered at a GP practice but have not needed to receive care.

The BMA declined to share its letter to NHSX with Pulse.

READERS' COMMENTS [3]

Patrufini Duffy 22 November, 2021 3:45 pm

Imagine when patients see the code “Had a chat to patient”…or hypochondriac and anxiety and depression. They won’t make head and tail of half the jargon and blah. Augmented disreality. And more phone jam.

paul cundy 23 November, 2021 10:59 am

Dear All,
Several errors in this story.
De-registered patients, their records persist in perpetuity on the practices database for medico-legal reasons, they are not deleted or removed but in an archived state.
The regulations state that open access to records will only occur after practices have been given suitable redaction software. We haven’t been given it, so no access.
Regards
Paul C

Mark McCartney 24 November, 2021 10:09 am

There should not be redactions on the GP record. Redactions are made on copies for third party release or subject access requests. A redaction on the original record could render the entry meaningless to the next clinician and pose a clinical risk
So what we need is suitable access blocking software – I do not have confidence in the current systems in EMIS and S1 for blocking patient access to sensitive data
Why not set an automatic blocker for all entries, and only allow access to those that have been approved?