Patients could withhold information from GPs because of confusion over scheme, doctors warn

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 27 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1820
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Patients who are unclear about the use of their GP medical records in the national programme could avoid seeing doctors and choose not to volunteer information, doctors have told MPs.

This potentially highly damaging outcome of the scheme—which will load data from GPs’ patient records on to the system and link it to the Hospital Episode Statistics database—was highlighted during a stormy session of the parliamentary health select committee on 25 February.

The programme was recently put on hold for six months until the autumn1 after concerns that patients did not know enough about the system and how to opt out of it.

MPs on the committee, holding the first evidence …

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