Letters, calls and emails: Dr Searle has been wrong about IT geeks

Dear Editor

Dr Paul Searle (GP, 27 October) wrote: ‘GPs fall into two categories — those who are interested in patients and those who prefer computers. The latter have facilitated the new GMS contract. Choose and Book is rubbish. I wouldn’t expect computer geeks to understand that though.’  

He is wrong. Since the inception of Connecting for Health (CfH), the iSoft User Group has voiced its concerns over the potential adverse effects of CfH software on patient confidentiality, the doctor– patient relationship and the running of the NHS.  

Indeed, one of our most active members was the first to demonstrate that Choose and Book demographics were not secure.  

The current difficulties with Choose and Book are the fault of the programmers, and of CfH itself for ignoring advice from user groups in the past.  

While looking forward to a truly wired NHS, IT-aware doctors are probably more sensitive than most to the deficiencies of the current systems, and want to work towards new ways of using IT that facilitate the doctor–patient relationship.  

Dr John Lockley,  

Press officer on behalf of the iSOFT User Group

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