GPs threaten to defy ministers over NHS IT plans

More than half of GPs are set to boycott the government's plans to upload all medical records to a new NHS database.

National IT programme
National IT programme

The DoH is expecting practices to allow the transfer of records without explicit patient consent, but a survey of 437 GPs has revealed that 52 per cent will refuse to do so.

Some 79 per cent of GPs believe the national care records service will not improve the confidentiality of patient records, with 62 per cent fearing that records will be hacked into or accessed inappropriately by other public sector staff.
More than 1,000 doctors took part in the overall survey, carried out by healthcare research specialists Medix UK, on behalf of GP newspaper and four other publications.

Three-quarters of GPs said the £12 billion National Programme for IT was a waste of NHS money, a view shared by almost two thirds of doctors from all specialties. Just 7 per cent of GPs and 13 per cent of all doctors though it was a good use of resources.

Some 82 per cent of GPs and 72 per cent of all doctors said the IT programme’s performance to date was either poor or unacceptable.

Overall support for the programme has fallen sharply since it began in 2002. The proportion of GPs who see it as an important priority for the NHS has fallen from 67 per cent to 35 per cent.
Just 25 per cent of GPs and 41 per cent of all doctors were enthusiastic about the IT programme, compared with 56 per cent and 75 per cent almost three years ago.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

The full report can be found online

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