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The Department of Health (DoH) has suspended development work on the project to provide online personal health records.

It has confirmed that staff have been moved to other areas of work and said it is reviewing the future of the project, but indicated that it has not been discontinued.

HealthSpace has been developed as a transactional hub for services, such as booking GP appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and completing pre-registration assessments. Last year's Health Informatics Review highlighted its potential, but a statement from the DoH suggests that it has been on the wrong track.

A spokesperson said: "HealthSpace has entered a phase of evaluating patient experience of its services and assessing what extra offerings should be made available in the future. Pilots of the HealthSpace Communicator function, which enables secure communication between clinicians and patients, are beginning to run at sites across England.

"These aim to establish its value for both patients and clinicians in different care settings on how best to develop the service. HealthSpace exists to help patients manage their own healthcare needs. Consequently it should be based on what patients want, rather than an expectation of what they need.

"This period of time is crucial to developing the future directions for the service and involves a redistribution of current resources, including staff, so that efforts are directed appropriately."

This article was originally published at Kable.

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