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Government to review Summary Care Record rollout

By Ian Quinn

The Government is to launch a sweeping review of the Summary Care Record rollout it emerged today, in a shock announcement at the LMCs conference.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman told delegates that health minister Simon Burns has sent a letter revealing he is to intervene following huge GP concern over the rollout.

It comes amid mounting confusion over the future of the Summary Care Record. The Government announced last week that it planned to keep the Summary Care Record, despite the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both previously pledging to scrap the national system.

The Government's review will cover the possibility of a change to an opt-in model of consent and also the entire content of the record, amid concern over security.

It comes with a report due out next week from the University of London expected to reveal that major inaccuracies in Summary Care Records uploaded so far have put patients at risk.

The intervention came as LMC representatives supported a motion calling for the BMA to 'formally and publicly abandon its acceptance of an 'opt out' system'.

Pulse revealed earlier this week that the BMA was confident it could persuade the new Government to intervene and change the consent model, despite ministerial announcements in the commons having appeared to suggest that it was pressing ahead with the rollout under the same terms as the previous Government.

In his letter Mr Burns said the Government accepted the need for electronic records but not in their current form.

He said: 'We believe that the current processes that are in place need reviewing to ensure that both the information that patients receive and the process by which they opt out are as clear as possible.'

Dr Ian Rummens, of Shropshire LMC, told the conference: 'The concept of complied consent is fundamentally flawed and unsound.'

Dr Gill Francis, of Wirral LMC, said: 'It's a huge gamble with public money at a time when the purse is empty. Do we need it? No. Can we afford it? No.'

Dr Andrew Richardson, of Devon LMC, said: 'Scrap it! It's been a huge waste of money. We've managed without it in the past.'

But GPs stopped short of calling for the Summary Care Record to be abandoned altogether, with 50% voting against in favour of 43% who backed the abandonment of the SCR.

The Government has announced it is to review the Summary Care Record rollout The Government has announced it is to review the Summary Care Record rollout Letter from Simon Burns Read the letter

To read the full letter from Simon Burns MP click here.