GPs 'ready to upload full medical histories'

Two Bolton GPs have praised the electronic record system being piloted in their practices.

After working since the start of 2007 with Bolton PCT and NHS Connecting for Health (CfH), they believe the system is ready to move to the next stage and upload full medical histories.

Nine practices have uploaded 53,000 summary care records onto the NHS spine so far in Bolton and three other PCTs in Dorset, Bury and South Birmingham are joining the Early Adopter programme, which will trial the system until March 2008. The scheme will then be evaluated before it is introduced nationally.

Dr Julie McMillen, from the Kirby, Page and McMillen practice in Bradshaw Brow, said concerns GPs had with the system had been addressed.

‘GPs were reluctant I think because of two main issues. One was consent from patients and the other was the actual workload of uploading the records.

‘Consent hadn’t been tried and tested before, but I am happy with implied consent and so are patients.’

Implied consent is used for uploading summary care record details of prescriptions and allergies onto the NHS spine. Patients are mailed and must reply to opt out. Patients can choose not to have information they consider sensitive uploaded.

 Dr Liaqat Natha, from Kearsley Medical Centre, said the records will be especially valuable for vulnerable or elderly patients.

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