Letters Calls & Emails: Widespread errors in summarised records

Dear Editor

We, like your correspondent two weeks ago, are conscientious in the extreme about summarising patient records (GP, 30 June).

We achieve the 80 per cent target only because we made a massive investment of contract monies in properly trained staff members who constantly work on our data quality.

We, like the correspondent are horrified by the state of patient notes we receive from practices which claim their notes are summarised. We find that practices that scan letters (and shred the originals) regularly send us the computer records without the scanned letters attached.

We have contacted our PCT on three occasions about this and although the notes come from all around the country, many are from neighbouring practices. Our PCT has yet to investigate (so far as we are aware) despite our drawing this to their attention over a year ago. Our PCT will shortly be merged into a bigger PCT and I imagine that this seems a low priority.

This area of the contract should be monitored more rigorously and payments made only to those who really comply. After all, we are all patients too.

These are our medical notes.

We hope this iniquitous and fraudulent practice will come to light when practices apply for data accreditation. But I am not holding my breath.

Name and address supplied.

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