Two Thirds of Bolton GPs Want to Scrap Summary Care Records

Article in Pulse about a recent survey of GPs in Bolton, UK:

Two-thirds of GPs in the first area to adopt the Government’s controversial Summary Care Record want to scrap the project, Pulse has learnt.

Plans to roll out the scheme in Bolton, Lancashire, are already three months behind schedule.

But now an LMC survey shows most of the town’s GPs are opposed to forging ahead with uploading patients’ details and sharing them with local hospitals.

The LMC said GP opposition remained despite months of Connecting for Health road shows and events aimed at winning them over.

Ninety-eight of the town’s 169 GPs responded to the survey. Just 20 respondents were in favour of forging ahead with the Care Record while 67 were against.

So far, 8 practices in the town have uploaded their patient details but the Summary Care Record has yet to be deployed in unscheduled care.

Dr Chris Woods, a member of Bolton LMC, said: ‘It’s a statistically useful survey and it seems to point to the fact that the majority of doctors don’t want it.’

Dr Bernard Newgrosh, a GP at Great Lever health centre in the town, said he was ‘totally against’ the project.. Some 166 of his patients have already opted out of having a Summary Care Record – even though his practice is not tak-ing part.

‘A girl came to see me practically on the first day of this thing and asked if her termination of pregnancy was in her record. She said she was ‘dead meat’ if details of the termination got out.’

Bolton PCT admitted the project had caused ‘a degree of controversy’ among GPs.

Dr Gillian Braunold, clinical director for the summary care record and a GP in Kilburn, north London, claimed a ‘critical mass’ of GPs were already on board with 34 of the town’s 57 practices signed up.

‘I met 40 of them on Wednesday who were very happy,’ she said.

The PCT had hoped to start using the records for unsched-uled care in July and in the out-of-hours service by late September but the project has been delayed.

Chris Russ, assistant director of IM&T at Bolton PCT, blamed the slow progress on key staff being away over the summer holidays but insisted: ‘The PCT now plans to introduce access to the out of hours service shortly, which will be followed by the walk-in centre and A&E at the Royal Bolton Hospital..’

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Dr Chris Paton

Dr Chris Paton is the Group Health for Global Health Informatics at the University of Oxford.

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