back to article NHS accused of politicising health records

Figures from Connecting for Health reveal that dozens of primary care trusts took money to tell patients about summary care records, even though they had no intention of actually moving to such records. Some 70 PCTs took money to run publicity campaigns for Summary Care Records (SCR) - you might even have got such a letter …


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Anonymous Coward

Quick easy NHS cash.

How hard is it to tell the NHS ``get us a working medical system, here is a sack of money and we expect your justification of spending at the end of the year''?

I dare say the NHS doesn't need IT as such. What it does need is the right information at the right place at the right time, often in a right hurry. It also needs all this in adverse conditions, like when there's a war on or just a power outage. This is all pretty well understood.

I also dare say that throwing more computers at the problem, inevitably running windows, will make the problem more expensive, over and beyond the value of the computers and software added, and in fact ever greater numbers of computers makes the whole thing ever more suspectible to windows based virus infections. Now I'll grant that the NHS is supposed to know about viruses, but not windows ones.

The amazing conclusion this brings me to is that we should go back to focusing on the information need, double-check our assumptions, and find robust solutions that don't bring with them more problems of their own. If that means the NHS ends up faxing around patient dossiers in high definition, then so be it. For privacy you can add paper shredders. They're easy to use and using them is easy to enforce. The NHS need to do their thing, not add IT on top of the porkbarrel pile to unsolve a well-understood problem.

Just curbing the endless politicking alone is bound to save billions.


@ AC what a crock of...

Seriously, why does everyone have to go on about the NHS having Windows??!?!?!?

You have to understand the NHS has a MASS user base all of which are general Joes in the technical sense and you have to give them something they are already semi familiar with, giving them all Linux, OSX or whatever would only exasperate issues AND spending as all users would have to be trained to use it, and dont give me the "its really easy to use line" i'll grant you the likes of fedora and ubuntu are moving more and more into a user friendly world but still lack teh familiarity of our favourite OS!

HOWEVER to validate your argument with a little merit, a company which for the purposes of this conversation shall remain Anonymous does already cater for the needs of most of the NHS (and is already in double digits worth of trusts) is a web based system that whilst is only fully compatible with IE at the moment could possibly be moved onto other browser platforms allowing the use of a different OS, i would dread to think what the development cost would be but suffice to say it is possible, but no one has ever requested it!

Faxing patient records around? You cannot be serious!!!!


SCR, letters and uploads

PCTs were instructed to sign up to uploading extracts to the SCR last year: the mailing of letters was accelerated because in December, they were told that there was money available for the PIP (Patient Information Program - supposed to be far more that a letter!) if it was done before 31 3 10.

The fact that many have not yet started uploading only reflects the time-scale: there has to be a 12 week gap between the letters being mailed and the actual up-load to allow time to opt-out, so if letters were sent mid-March, upload cannot start until mid-June. My understanding is that it will start then in some areas.

The problems with the SCR (as opposed to the Scottish ECR) is that after the initial upload of medication, allergies and adverse reactions (the really useful bit and likely to be good quality data) there will be "enrichment" of the record from the GP record (not clear whether that is now with specific patient involvement or on a practice plan - which might differ from the neighbouring practice's plan) and then with all hospital and A&E discharges - and possibly more: it seems to increase on an almost daily basis! ;-<

In the end, it might look a bit like an electronic Lloyd George envelope: stuffed with unconnested documents and impossible to use in an emergency!

Please help yourselves: **if you have allergies or major medical problems GET YOURSELF A MEDIC ALERT!

I can promise you - I hope - that in an emergency, doctors and paramedics will resuscitate you first - and check the SCR afterwards...

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