By Ian Quinn
GP leaders have attacked NHS IT chiefs over trusts being left in a state of total confusion about the Summary Care Record rollout.
More than a week ago the Government ordered the uploading of care records to be suspended in areas where the DH had launched an accelerated rollout, after the BMA successfully argued that there had been insufficient consultation with millions of patients.
However, it has emerged that Connecting for Health has still not acted on the ruling to provide guidance to trusts about what they should do next, with some NHS bodies apparently pushing ahead with the rollout despite ministers’ intervention.
When contacted by Pulse, NHS East of England, one of the SHAs involved in the accelerated rollout, claimed that ‘no decision’ had been made about the continuing uploading of records, despite the BMA having being sent written confirmation from DH officials that the process would stop until further consultation had been carried out.
This week Connecting for Health was refusing to say whether it planned to offer trusts any guidance – or even to give Pulse a definitive list of the areas involved in the accelerated rollout so GPs would know if they were affected and advise their patients accordingly.
Dr Grant Ingrams, chair of the GPC IT sub committee, said trusts had been left to flounder because of the lack of direction from the DH.
‘There is an ethical and legal responsibility for national guidance to be given on this,’ he said. ‘I understand there will be new guidance sent out to trusts and SHAs but as yet nothing has gone out.’
‘We believe that it’s down to Connecting for Health to ensure that there is a multimedia information campaign to give patients the information they need about these records. That should have been done before letters went out to patients. They should be advertising on the local radio, TV and in the press.’
A spokesperson for Connecting for Health would only say: ‘We are working with PCTs to raise awareness.’
Trusts have been left confused over the Summary Care Record rollout Trusts have been left confused over the Summary Care Record rollout