This site is intended for health professionals only

Patients “deserve more explanation about database”

19 April 2010

Share this article

More explanation will be provided to patients before their medical records are placed on a central computer system in some parts of the country, the government has agreed.

There has been no consent from patients before the accelerated roll-out of the summary care record (SCR) in some regions, the British Medical Association (BMA) said.

As many as 1.25 million patient records are now online and, over time, a further 50 million will be uploaded on to the database.

The record contains basic details like name, allergies, medication and adverse reactions, with further details possibly being added over time.

Patients in some regions have received letters about the records, giving them the chance to opt out of having one created online.

But the BMA said last month the programme was happening too fast in some parts of England and called for a suspension.

The Department of Health has now told the BMA that records will not go online in accelerated roll-out areas until there is greater public and professional awareness.

Dr Grant Ingrams, Chairman of the BMA’s GP IT Committee, said: “This is a positive step.

“Summary care records have the potential to improve healthcare for patients if implemented appropriately.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

British Medical Association

Department of Health