Spine records to be abridged1st May 2006
Connecting for Health has decided that summary patient records planned to be uploaded to the national data spine will be reduced to include just allergy and prescription information initially.
The decision to abridge the content of the record has been made to allay GPs’ concerns over the accuracy of their data. It could allow the summary records to be adopted on an "opt-out" basis by patients rather than the preferred "opt-in" system demanded by some leading representative bodies.
The current proposal is that allergies and prescription items will be uploaded as free text following local publicity campaigns about the NHS Care Records Service (NCRS). Additional information, such as primary diagnoses and procedures, can then be added as a coded summary once patient consent has been received.
Connecting for Health will not dictate to GPs how or when they should obtain consent or what exactly the summary should include. These decisions will be left for practices to discuss with their patients at a local level although some consistency will need to be applied in order to build a national spine record.
The timetable for rolling out the summary record has also been moved. Pilots were initially to begin from August this year but this has now been delyaed until the end of the year or early 2007.
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