Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Independent Health Record

Oooer has it been over a month since I moaned on publicly about stuff? I have nothing for those prolific bloggers who manage to post several times a day! But then I am on my own here... etc etc ad infinitum...

My excuse was I went to Spain to ride fast motorbikes and be taught by ex World Champions. Its taken a while for me to come back down to the real world, but something landed in my Outlook inbox today that brought me crashing back to Earth... the announcement of the all Wales Independent Health Record (IHR).

It extolled the virtues of the system for those working in out of hours settings telling of the benefits to patients.

It ignored the fact that at best, most of our clinical records are only vaguely accurate enough to get a decent QOF score. How difficult would it be for instance to correct an inaccuracy after the download day? Especially if a diagnosis was uncertain at the time (e.g. in mental health where diagnoses are notoriously difficult to make on the basis that you can't easily quantify signs and symptoms).

And then there's the small fact that legally, anyone with a half good reason can access the data for their own purposes using Section 251 of the NHS Act (2006). And that's not including those who may inadvertently or deliberately bypass complex NHS IT security systems to have a peak, or be less than fastidious about logging off or leaving printouts or memory sticks lying about. The list goes on.

Anyway, I expressed my concerns via return email which has been intercepted. I am now to be visited by one of my colleagues and a health board project leader for re education to discuss my concerns.

It will be interesting to see what options are available to my patients (and myself and my own kids who are also patients at Single Male Doc's practice down the road) to "opt out" and whether or not such opt outs are publicised ; or will it all be done by stealth? Hmmmmm.....


  1. Mmmmmm.... is this the Welsh Version of Summary Care Records perhaps?

    The will it/wont it happen mess around Summary Care Records worries me. The very idea of Summary Care Records worries me - for all the reasons you have identified above.

    I opted out of SCR early last year - not that it hit my area when forecast.

    I do not want the domestic at hospital X accessing my SCR and selling the sordid details of my life to the tabloids - in my dreams really, leading a very ordinary life!

    It is true that that where records exist, A&E staff rarely use them as it is too time consuming and the information is limited and often unhelpful.

    Probablly will all happen by stealth eventually and we being the sheep we are, will accept it with barely a bleat!

    Your adventure in Spain sounds exciting!

    Anna :o]

  2. Yes, this is basically the Welsh verion of SCR. I've not heard much good about that from across the border so far. I've heard or seen no fanfare in the public media so I assume a stealthy approach is being taken by health board, though I am told opt out forms will be availble from June ...(whoever she is!)

    Spain was fab and I want to retire there tomorrow! I find a mid winter jaunt to Iberia a great cure for my SAD syndrome.
    Alas motorcycle racing does not pay its top stars like other high profile sports, so ex World champs are reduced to teaching amateurs like myself to wobble round the track a but quicker.

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