LMCs warn of 'enriched' summary care record risk

Adding clinical information to patients' summary care record without explicit consent risks 'sleepwalking into a bad dream', the LMCs conference was warned last week.

The conference voted to support GPs’ fundamental role in maintaining confidentiality of clinical information and to reject implied consent to release of information on named patients because it was ‘insufficient’.

Bolton PCT was the first to pilot the summary care record (SCR), a list of medicines and allergies uploaded to a central government computer.

Dr Chris Woods, of Bolton LMC, said that moves were now under way to create an enriched care record, which contains additional significant information, such as a disease summary.

Research [by UCL] shows that under a third of patients know what their SCR is, Dr Woods said. ‘How can patients give implied consent when they are not aware of the process in the first place,’ he asked.

‘The recent move to enrich the summary care record without explicit consent is vigorously opposed by Bolton LMC,’ he said. ‘Why? Because the government has a bad record in data security.’

Dr Woods cited the handing of child benefit payments and prison population data.

‘This government cannot be trusted with personal information,’ he said.

He added: ‘Patients need to know what is happening to their data. Let patients decide, not government. No enrichment without explicit consent. No sleepwalking into this very bad dream’

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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