Patient record project will complete this month

Source: Practice Index 2.11.22

The Government hopes to complete the rollout out of its troubled patient record access project this month, Health Secretary Steve Barclay said yesterday.

Earlier this week two major suppliers suspended implementation of the Citizens’ Access project while GP leaders have warned that many practices are not ready. The project is intended to give patients access to their records through the NHS app. The British Medical Association said Mr Barclay had brought “little clarity” to the situation.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr Barclay said: “I am pleased that all GP practices will soon be able to automatically provide patients aged 16 and over with access to the latest information and their health records through the NHS app. We are switching on that ability from today in a process that we expect to be completed by the end of the month. That is an important milestone for patient empowerment and is part of a process that sees patients play an even more active role in managing their health and care.”

Dr David Wrigley, deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee in England, said: “These day-by-day changes to the Citizens’ Access programme are incredibly concerning. It is absolutely not the way to handle such an important issue. The Health Secretary’s announcement has brought little clarity to the situation, and practices are understandably worried about what this means for them and their patients.”

He added: “Fundamentally, the issue of safety remains. Safety for patients and safety for practices. The profession, as well as the BMA, has repeatedly raised concerns that practices who are not yet ready, need time to properly prepare and carefully review data in order to protect patients. We need safe deployment when it comes to a system-wide change like this, not just high-level announcements with no detail for those actually involved in doing it. Implementing technical changes within live clinical environments in a way that could negatively impact patients’ lives is unacceptable. We urge NHS England to not only communicate, in detail, with the profession, about what is happening, but also to seriously reconsider the patient safety implications of hurrying out a programme like this.”

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