Summary care records rolled out in London

Summary care records, which consist of an electronic summary of a patient's health information, are being rolled out across London this week.

Records will include core information such as medications, allergies and key health information
Records will include core information such as medications, allergies and key health information

The first records to be created in London are to be uploaded in Southwark, south London, at the Princess Street group practice on Thursday.

The record will include core information such as medications, allergies, adverse reactions and key health information derived initially from the patient's GP record and added to as necessary by other healthcare staff treating the patient.

All London residents will be written to, have the initiative explained and be given the chance to opt out.

Summary care records have been trialled in six pilot areas (Bolton, Bury, Bradford, Dorset, south west Essex and south Birmingham). The DoH says results have shown summary care records improve out-of-hours care and mean healthcare professionals no longer have to rely on patient memory, which can be inaccurate. The average opt-out rate is 0.8%. The intiative will be rolled out across England next year.

Dr Phil Koczan, a GP in east London and clinical lead for the London Programme for IT, said: ‘Summary care records will give myself and my patients real peace of mind, knowing that important information is accessible when it's needed.'

A Londonwide LMC spokesperson said: 'GP practices in London have continuing concerns about patients being clear about summary care records (SCR). Chief among the anxieties expressed by GPs is the need for patients to be able to opt into their confidential medical information that is loaded on to the system. This is particularly important with the high levels of patients for whom English is a second language. We look forward to clarifying these issues with the SCR team and the London Programme for IT who are jointly hosting an event with us for GPs and practice managers on 2 December.'


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