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We warned PCT over appraisal site security years ago

I read with great interest your recent article concerning the security problems of the appraisal website (‘Government shuts down GP appraisal website over hacker fears').

This really came as no surprise to us. When the website was introduced in 2007/8, I contacted our PCT (Trafford) concerning the security of the site. We were particularly concerned about this given the large amount of very personal data that the site requires GPs to enter.

As is quite normal, it took some months and several reminders to get any reply from the PCT. In the end the best it could come up with was that it could not guarantee the security of the site despite promoting it as the preferred method of completing appraisals.

Our concerns have now been realised and it is disappointing that someone chose not to act upon them and take this matter further when we first raised the issue. If the PCT had done so the appraisal timetable might not now be in such disarray and any security problems might have been resolved some time ago.

Stephen Belk
Practice business manager, Urmston, Manchester