RCGP advises practices delay NHS app records access

RCGP advises practices to delay access to NHS application records

The RCGP advised GP practices to consider delaying automatic access to records via the NHS application on the basis of patient safety.

From next week, Patients will automatically be able to read new entries – including free texts, letters and documents – in their GP health record through the NHS app.

but the RCGP said that some GPs “do not feel ready to safely implement automatic patient access” by the planned start-up date of 1 November.

She added that this “despite their best efforts to prepare and the college’s work to support them in that.”

RCGP advised practices to consider whether they can allow access to logs “safely” and if not, “delay access for the sake of further readiness”.

She said: ‘It is appropriate that practices that feel prepared to do so continue to expand access to records, but the college will never encourage practices to proceed with a course of action that they feel jeopardizes patient safety.

“Practices should consider the benefits of providing access to records against their level of readiness and ability to safely filter sensitive information, and decide whether to delay access for greater preparedness.”

She added that her Online GP Services Toolkit Explains “how to implement opt-out codes to prevent automatic access for patients for whom it is considered unsafe”.

The RCGP urged NHS England to “consider carefully” whether it should proceed as planned.

“Practices to address these risks should not be left alone and before start-up is confirmed, NHS England should carefully consider the timeline in light of the most recent information on the situation on the ground,” she said.

She added, “The College has always supported the principle of expanded access to records and the benefits that patient access to records provides in terms of self-management, health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

“However, we have also recognized the additional risks that automation brings and over the past year have consistently emphasized the importance of practice readiness, safe revision technology, and consideration for the most vulnerable patients.”

The RCGP has raised concerns about the following:

  • The ‘workload and workforce crisis’ facing GPs severely limits GPs’ ability to engage in any additional work programmes, while really prioritizing the provision of direct patient care.
  • Despite “some improvements” to the redaction functions, NHS England “has not yet provided all the technical solutions the college proposed last year”
  • Other parts of the healthcare system are ‘insufficiently informed’ about what subtraction means for their connections with general practice and the effects of automation on the role of GPs as data controllers

She said: “The college has reported these concerns to NHS England on a regular basis and highlighted the responsibility of NHS England to fully consider the risks associated with this program and the legal basis under which it is implemented.”

An NHS England spokesperson said: ‘Giving patients greater access to their health data gives them the tools they need to better manage their health and reduces pressure on practices, with patients able to access information such as test results at the touch of a button without having to. Having to call their GP.

The NHS wrote to general practices in July outlining measures needed to protect their patients during the move, along with a support package developed in partnership with the RCGP and patient groups to help them prepare, and that support will remain available to all practices.

They stressed that NHS England continues to engage with professional bodies, patient groups, protect leads and early adopter sites to prepare for 1 November 2022, when the automatic rollout will begin.

A range of technical tools and capabilities are available to support the secure management of patient records, they said, which have been successfully applied in early adopter sites.

They added that practitioners should contact their commissioner if they see challenges in providing the necessary safeguards so that commissioners can continue to work supportively to help practices prepare.

The The BMA also called for the change to be postponed again It said it was in “urgent discussions” about the new requirements, with guidance to be issued soon.

NHS Digital first aimed to Patients whose practices use TPP to be the first to access new entries in their GP notes through NHS . Application From December 2021 – with EMIS practices following this year.

But the release date was Delayed until April 2022 for both systemshaving written the BMA to the NHSX Expressing concerns about the timing of the program’s launch.

It was then Delayed again, with NHS England aware of ‘protection’ concerns.

Meanwhile, it was revealed last week GP practices to register new patients will have to repeat work already done through the previous practice of revising their record.

In addition to accessing potential records, Pulse revealed earlier this month that NHS England plans to enable patients to request their historical GP records through the NHS app from next year.

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