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Patient record access initiative is yet another part of the DH agenda



When was the last time you read about a DH initiative/strategy/policy and thought, ‘Oooh, that sounds like a good idea?’

Exactly. Never.

And their latest wheeze, to enable patients to view and comment on their full records by 2018, is not going to change that.

Not only is it full of harebrained cybers**t, it also contains the chilling line, ‘The CQC will regulate provider’s record keeping from April 2016’ – which presumably means I can look forward to having my ears boxed with a clipboard for being too liberal with the phrase, ‘timewasting arseache’.

OK, there might be a teeny minority of patients who’d be attracted to the bright idea of ‘Personalised Health and Care 2020’ though, frankly, most of them already have enough ways to torture their GPs.

The rest – that is the rational majority for whom obsessive health checking/updating isn’t their raison d’etre – are just like us in that they don’t give a flying monkeys. Besides, how much will this cost, and how much will it screw up already overcrowded and distracting records? Answer, to both: a lot.

Interesting, isn’t it, how the politicians have already appropriated the GP consultation via QOF, the public health agenda and so on. So it’s a natural progression to do the same with the GP records. These things used to be sacrosanct. Now they’re a test-bed for political whimsy.

They do it under the banner of developing a health service fit for the 21st century. But given that they’re pursuing no one’s agenda but their own, they’re actually developing a health service that’s fit to drop.

And that’s something I’d like to put on the record.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield