PCTs reject new patients

PCTs are refusing to register patients if practices cannot find enough detailed information for their electronic records.

The action is discriminatory, unfair, and falls outside the GMS contract, the GPC has said.

PCTs in Birmingham and Solihull have misinterpreted instructions from the DoH, said Birmingham LMC executive secretary, Dr Robert Morley.

Practices can now have registrations revoked if they cannot provide sufficient demographic data, even where practices have done everything to obtain it from patients. Patients using temporary NHS numbers for more than three months are being removed from lists.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'Many patients will be denied the right to primary medical services. These people are entitled to treatment, but this is making it impossible. It is discriminatory and unfair.'

A spokesman for all Birmingham PCTs said: 'As part of the implementation of the electronic care record, the process for allocating NHS numbers has been changed and the facility to assign temporary numbers no longer exists for PCTs.

'If the patient cannot be traced from the information the practice provides then the surgery will be contacted to check that all the information provided by the patient has been input correctly. The onus on tracing the patient at registration is stronger.'

The GPC hoped that GPs would continue to treat patients anyway, despite them not having proper records created. The only other option was to tell them to go private. This would be 'unacceptable,' said Dr Buckman.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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