Medical Records

Health written question – answered on 27th February 2008.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Shadow Minister without Portfolio

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made an assessment of the process for patients who wish to opt out of the new NHS Care Records Service computer system; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The summary care record (SCR), part of the national health service care records service started to be introduced into early-adopter primary care trusts in spring 2007. The Department is working with the summary care record advisory group and with independent evaluators based at University College London to ensure that all significant learning from the early adopters is taken into account as soon as it is available so that the results can be incorporated into future deployment plans for the SCR.

Among the key aspects of the evaluation will be an assessment of patient's experience of the SCR consent/dissent model and the guidance that has been issued to all general practices on how they should respond to patient inquiries about having a summary care record. The evaluation will draw from extensive fieldwork done to capture the views and experiences of patients, general practitioners, practice managers, nurses and other NHS clinical and management staff.

The Department intends to publish the findings of the evaluation later this year.

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William Heath
Posted on 28 Feb 2008 2:28 pm (Report this annotation)

This is just waffle, hoping the question will go away. But it wont, because the alternatives to centralised NHS records are getting better so fast.

Wibbi the Minister had said something like "We quite appreciate, in the light of our recent data cock-ups, that many people will have reservations about signing up to national centralised health records run by the government. That's fine; they're entitled to their views. We shall simply make sure that the centralised NHS service we deliver is so safe, so worthwhile and so eminently worthy of trust that in due course they decide they want to sign up.

"In the meantime we'll respect their wishes and continue to offer them the best service we can. Oh, and if they choose to sign up with a personal health information provider (such as Google or Microsoft) we'll make sure our interfaces can interoperate with these systems as standards emerge. After all, by looking after their own records, they're saving us money and ffort, aren't they, and getting exactly what they want. In fact, it's really quite a good idea."