Views & Reviews Personal view

For patients' sake, don't boycott e-health records

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 19 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:158
  1. Marlene Winfield, national patient lead, NHS Connecting for Health
  1. London
  1. marlene.winfield{at}

    Can I be the only patient scratching my head about the BMA's decision to advise general practitioners to boycott the creation of summary care records for their patients? The new record has two main purposes: to provide the NHS with crucial patient information when none is available from other sources, and to give people themselves access to a good summary of their health records whenever they need it.

    For me as a patient this means that anyone I ask to help me at evenings and weekends will know basic information about me. This is particularly important now that GPs no longer provide their own out of hours cover for us. Unfortunately, I find that I usually develop a raging urinary tract infection on a Friday night and it would be really helpful for the stranger I ring to know what antibiotics worked for me before, which one caused me to come out in a …

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