U-turn over opt-out meetings for care record

The General Practitioners Committee (GPC) has demanded that primary care trusts (PCTs) scrap plans to force patients who want to opt out of the shared care record system to come for face-to-face meetings to explain their decision.

At the GPC monthly meeting last week, members voted unanimously in favour of a motion deploring the move.

As the vote was announced, NHS Connecting for Health announced it had issued guidance to PCTs involved in piloting the record system making clear patients ‘do not need to appear in person in order to opt out’.

The GPC motion says: ‘The GPC condemns any PCT or government organisation which requires a patient to justify their wish to opt out of the shared care record face to face.’

It says that patients must be allowed to opt out easily by using a leaflet, writing to their practice, or verbally advising their practice.

The motion recommends that practices record ‘the fact and manner of a patient’s request’ to opt out of the shared care record.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘We think it’s wrong that a patient should have to go in person – they should not have to justify their decision.’

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

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