GP practices registering new patients will have to repeat the work already done by the previous practice of redacting their record, official guidance has said.
But official guidance has revealed that patients moving practice will lose access to any data from their previous surgery, meaning that if they request this again their new practice will have to repeat the process of redacting their records.
It comes as the BMA has called for the change to be delayed again and said it is having ‘urgent discussions’ around the new requirements, with guidance set to be issued within the coming days.
London GP partner and GP Survival chair Dr Nick Grundy warned that NHS Digital has not yet ‘put in place any of the tech required to make [prospective notes access] work’.
He added that it is ‘pure comms crap’ to say people have full access to their notes when they will ‘lose it all again’ as soon as they move practice.
He said: ‘The whole programme is yet another PR exercise by NHS England and one which characteristically seeks to solve a problem which doesn’t exist.’
‘Characteristically, again, NHSE piles a load of pointless bureaucracy on practices, without any functioning IT to support, so they can witter on about the “transformative” programmes they’re embarked on.
‘This is not transformative. It is a waste of everyone’s time.’
Speaking at the Best Practice conference in Birmingham last week, GPC England deputy chair and IT policy lead Dr David Wrigley said the BMA is ‘having urgent discussions’ and ‘will be issuing clear guidance early next week’.
Dr Wrigley said: ‘The BMA is concerned that the proposed model to centrally switch on default access to all GP patient records from 1 November will put patient data and safety at risk, as it is not consent driven.
‘There are also many concerns over the increased workload involved in this rollout and to expect GPs to review 61 million records is wholly unrealistic.’
He added: ‘We urge NHS England and Government ministers to reconsider the current go-live date and revisit the default access to records model for every patient in England.
‘We are, of course, keen to discuss possible solutions to design safe records access that works for everyone. As a consequence, we cannot support the project as it currently stands.’
The BMA previously said it had ‘not received satisfactory assurance that the citizen access to records programme scheduled to roll out on 1 November can go ahead’.
It said that the ‘necessary planning and resourcing required to launch the programme at this time cannot be put in place to enable a safe and successful rollout’.
At the same time, an NHS England blog this week committed to the rollout in ‘just under three weeks’ time’.
An NHS England spokesperson said: ‘Offering people access to their medical records is not only beneficial for patients in helping them manage their health, but it also helps practices manage demand better with people able to access information including their test results on their smartphones, where they feel comfortable to do so, instead of having to contact their practice.’
NHS England stressed that there has been extensive and ongoing engagement on records access and that it notified GP practices in July of the change coming on 1 November with all the detail they would need to prepare and comply by this date.
It added that it has worked closely with GP IT system suppliers to develop the required technical capability and that practices should contact their commissioner where they see challenges with providing the necessary safeguards.
As well as prospective records access, NHS England plans to enable patients to request their historic GP records through the NHS App from next year.