While some people have clear concerns about their information being on-line, surely the bigger question has to be – how has it taken until 2015 to share records between GPs and out of hours providers?

Until now if you called your GP out of hours and spoke to the GP on duty they had no access to your records and had to treat you in a vacuum of background information. Why? Because with the outsourcing of out of hours services, the provision in the evenings is provided by a different organisation. Patients tend to see one NHS but the reality of multiple providers with poor data sharing arrangements, actually means that until now your records did not line up with your need for services.

So let’s not look back any more. The system is now up and running, records can be shared but the patient will still be asked for their consent before anyone but your GP can access your record.

It is a step forward but given the world around us and how fast technology is developing to improve services, the health services still have a lot to catch up on.

Richard Corbett
Chief Executive – Healthwatch Bucks

Published on 28 Sep, 2015 (updated 21 Oct, 2016)

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