Patient permission needed to view care records

Clinicians must ask patients' permission before viewing their summary care record (SCR), NHS Connecting for Health has announced.

The decision to move to a ‘consent to view' model was finalised at a meeting of the NHS Care Records Board yesterday.

The change means that doctors will only be able to view records without consent using a special ‘emergency' option. CfH says this will create an audit trail, and that doctors will later be asked to justify every use of this option.

‘I feel we've put to bed the practical issues around consent,' said Dr Gillian Braunold, the clinical director for the SCR system.

Asked why there had been no public consultation on patient consent to create and view records, she replied: ‘The track we're going down is the one that ministers set for us.'

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