GPC calls for a £1,500 electronic records DES

GP leaders want a directed enhanced service (DES) scheme for the national care record scheme in England, worth £1,500 for 2008/9.

No pay for the time to discuss electronic records with patients
No pay for the time to discuss electronic records with patients

The DES would compensate practices for the time it takes to talk patients through the implications of sharing their information with the national patient record system.

The GPC expects pilots for the scheme to begin in ‘the next month or so’ and will base pay demands on the workload.

GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said the current IT DES did not cover this.

‘The DES didn’t include the discussion that would take place when you press the button to create the e-record,’ he said.

The national care record database is likely to get under way in phases across England, Dr Vautrey said. Talking to patients about the move could create a dramatic surge in consultation time for a short while, he said and practices may need extra staff to cope.

‘It’s going to have to be a DES and we will be looking for it to be implemented from 2008/9,’ he told GP.

Payment for transition

GPC member and Sheffield GP Dr Trefor Roscoe said some form of payment for the transition to the national care record was vital, because ‘it could swamp general practice’.

However, he said that the majority of patients would not care if their data was shared.

‘The difficulty is in practices like mine, with large numbers of middle class patients who will want to discuss what’s happening to their data,’ he said.

‘I think the minimum time for a conversation about it will be two or three minutes and some will want to discuss it for up to half an hour. The average will probably be about five minutes.’

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