LMC conference 2016: GPs reject call to give up control of patient records

GPs have rejected a call for practices to give up their status as the data controller over patient records.

A motion to the national LMCs conference from South Staffordshire LMC said GPs should relinquish control, given the rise of ‘multi-agency integrated digital care records and patient access to their own records.’ Patients should also be given their paper notes for safekeeping, the motion proposed.

Dr Mark Brooke, of Bradford and Airedale LMC, told the conference in London: ‘There are increasing numbers of requests from all sorts of people to access our data. Let’s get rid of our controller status. We do not have it and no longer need it.’

But Dr Alan Mills, from the Eastern England region, questioned who would become the data controller if not GPs.

‘Our control over patient records has been eroded of late but we are the gatekeepers of the NHS. If we hand over that control we will have no control over our records.

‘If we are not the data controllers, we will be the data users and will be told by someone else what to do with the records and how to do it.’

Who would be data controller if not GPs?

Chairman of the GPC IT subcommittee Dr Paul Cundy said sharing of patient data should not require GPs to give up their status as data controllers: ‘It should actually strengthen your control - you just need to exert it. Where would the data controller status go if it were not with you?’

LMCs rejected the parts of the motion calling for transfer of data controller status and the giving of paper records to patients for safekeeping.

The conference carried proposals in the same motion calling for particular consideration to the needs of confidentiality for adolescents and vulnerable adults, the negotiation of a national data sharing agreement, and addressing of the workload implications of data sharing.

Full coverage: LMC conference 2016

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