GP records access rollout halted ‘until further notice’

2nd December 2022 by NASGP

GP records access rollout halted ‘until further notice’

Patients will not get automatic online access to their records as scheduled, Pulse reports.

Access was due to be switched on by the end of the month despite delays and warnings by the BMA and RCGP, but was withdrawn at the last minute.

The BMA released advice as FAQs, saying: “There is continuing engagement between GP IT system suppliers, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and other stakeholders to confirm the next steps. General practice will be informed ahead of any system changes being implemented.

“We will be issuing more guidance and updates in the coming weeks.”

An RCGP spokesperson added: “It is excellent to see that this confirms that plans to turn on automatic sharing of patient records for practices who have requested that this not go ahead, have been halted.

“Many practices are simply not ready to prepare for and implement this change amidst existing workload and workforce pressures, and it would be unsafe for patients to proceed in these circumstances.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “Remember that kid from school in woodwork, who didn’t listen to the teacher and just went around bashing everything with a hammer, breaking stuff and eventually poking himself in the eye? Well, that’s basically what’s happened here.

“By simply having paid attention to GPs, who know about the complexity and complicatedness of clinical records – particularly in the context of safeguarding and behavioural psychology – NHSE could have approached this in a far more considered manner without having had to go through the usual chaos, confusion and alarm.

“We should politely confine this initiative to the dustbin of political grand gestures, and instead make small helpful, practical, evidence-based improvements to bring about the reality of improved access to patient records.”

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