Intended for healthcare professionals


Impasse over patient consent may delay NHS computerisation

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 30 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1140
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

A continuing impasse over patient consent threatens to delay the most critical phase of the £12.4bn (€18.3bn; $24.1bn) programme to computerise the NHS in England.

From March next year, early adopter NHS organisations are expected to begin loading summaries of clinical information onto a central electronic “spine,” from which they will be available to any authorised user.

However, the BMA and the central agency Connecting for Health remain at odds over whether patients should give explicit consent before records go on the system. According to the latest survey by the medical polling company Medix, 51% of GPs said they would not upload records without explicit consent.

Figures published …

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