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NHS IT leaders consider limiting parents’ access to online records

GPs will not have to provide parents of children over the age of 12 with online access to their children’s records, under new proposals being formulated by the Health and Social Information Centre.

Dr Masood Nazir, a GP in Birmingham and clinical informatics advisor at the HSCIC, said that the information centre is currently formulating guidance for GPs in carrying out their new contractual requirement to provide patients with online access to their records.

Speaking to Pulse after his presentation to delegates at the Pulse Live conference in Manchester, Dr Nazir said the HSCIC discussed limiting parents’ access to children’s records last week, with a series of upcoming meetings set to discuss how to protect patients from unintended consequences from granting online access to records.

He said: ‘We met with the Information Commissioner last week and this was discussed. We will be having a number of meetings to discuss guidance for how to protect vulnerable patients, with guidance to be published around September, after being signed off by the RCGP.’

However he added that GPs would need to use their own judgement on following the guidance, for example basing decisions on their perceived maturity of the child in question, or refusing to set up online access to vulnerable adults ‘if they knew for example that they are at risk of domestic abuse’.

But he added: ‘Sometimes the problem is that you don’t know.’

Because of this, all patients should be warned not to sign up to online records access if they fear they could be vulnerable to ‘coercion’ to release details, he said.

It comes after patient watchdogs, as well as the GPC, have warned of unintended consequences of allowing patients to have access to their Summary Care Record (SCR) ‘as a minimum’ before April 2015, which is now a contractual requirement.