Leading medical magazine, Pulse, have a very interesting exclusive on the future of the Summary Care Record:
The Government is planning to switch to a scaled back, ‘patient-held’ electronic care record, severing central control over the controversial programme, but stopping short of scrapping it altogether.
A senior Government source told Pulse of moves to substantially reform the Summary Care Record after researchers found it had spectacularly failed to deliver a raft of promised benefits to patients and doctors.
A senior source said the Government was ‘profoundly, deeply troubled’ by the roll-out and planned major changes including axing IT bureaucracy and switching to a simpler system based on patient control at a local level, including a back-up system for vulnerable patients.
This is an interesting development after a series of bungled announcements on the NPfIT by the Coalition Government. Having first tried to bury the bad news that they would be keeping the SCR; heavy pressure applied by ourselves and fellow privacy campaigners – as well as the latest UCL report – seems to have sent the new Health team back to the drawing board.
The good news is that this suggests the Coalition will be getting rid the current insecure and unreliable SCR system; the bad news is that a 'patient-held' record was something that the previous government promised but spectacularly failed to deliver.
As ever, the devil will be in the detail. Although it should be a prerequisite with this new scheme that people are made aware of their options and given an clear and understandable guidance on how to opt out.
By Dylan Sharpe