GPC demands patient choice on care records

Electronic patient care records in England must be opt-in rather than opt-out, or Connecting for Health risks losing GP support for the plans.

Following a recent GPC victory on having major diagnoses excluded from the summary care record pilot (GP, 12 May), the GPC has asked that patients' permission be sought before adding them to the record.

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said that the opt-out basis of the record was a 'fundamental problem' that needed resolving.

GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey explained that automatically adding patients could lead to the database containing outdated and inaccurate records and said he 'remained puzzled as to why the initial upload can't be with explicit consent'.

He said the care record would be funded as part of the IT enhanced service.

An NHS Connecting for Health spokesman said that it had examined the opt-out model and its forerunner, the Care Record Development Board, had validated opt-out as the policy.

'But we recognise that there is an ongoing debate on the issue,' he added.

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