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DoH puts brakes on Summary Care Record

Suspends previously-hurried implementation

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The Department of Health has suspended the creation of the central electronic patient record in regions where it had planned for an accelerated implementation.

It has told the British Medical Association's (BMA) GP IT committee that it would halt the work until more had been done to spread awareness about the Summary Care Record (SCR) among the public.

"Patient Summary Care Records will not be created in the regions identified for accelerated implementation of the SCR Patient Information Programme, until appropriate professional and public awareness has been raised," a DoH spokesperson confirmed.

The DoH had started accelerated introduction of the records in December in the north west, north east, Yorkshire and Humber, London and east of England regions, under regional patient information programmes.

In March, the BMA called for the suspension of this regional work, claiming that patients had not been sufficiently informed. It has now welcomed the DoH decision.

"This is a positive step," said Dr Grant Ingrams, chair of the BMA's GP IT committee. "We are pleased that Connecting for Health has listened to us, and welcome the decision to suspend uploads.

"Summary Care Records have the potential to improve healthcare for patients if implemented appropriately. We will want to work with government in future to ensure that the many concerns of patients and doctors are listened to and addressed."

Creation of SCRs will only be suspended in the five regions where accelerated work was planned. It will continue in early adopter areas.

This article was originally published at Smart Healthcare.

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