This site is intended for health professionals only

Explicit opt-in is BMA policy

Dr Laurence Buckman’s assertion that ‘Dr Paul Cundy’s comments do not represent the policy of the BMA or its GP committee’ is wholly misleading. It is absolutely the policy of the BMA and the GPC that medical data should be uploaded only with express consent – an explicit opt-in policy.

(Opt out all your patients from Summary Care Records former GPC IT chief urges)

This can only be done in the current Summary Care Record by opting all patients out and then removing that opt-out code (or overriding it) when a patient gives informed and explicit consent to have a record created. If GPs follow Dr Cundy’s advice they will be operating entirely consistently with BMA policy – uploads on an opt-in basis.

There is no other way to achieve BMA and GPC policy or operate an opt-in scheme. Of course, practices can decline to be involved with the programme entirely (and many have), but to do that would deny patients who wish one the right to have a care record.

If practices follow Dr Buckman’s advice and do not Read-code their patients’ records, then uploads will occur on an opt-out basis – directly contrary to BMA policy.

From Dr Neil Bhatia
Yateley, Hampshire