Chair urges more GP practices to sign up to the Bolton Care Record

THE CHAIR of NHS Bolton CCG has urged more GP’s surgeries to sign up for a computerised medical records system which allows care professionals to share patients’ data more easily.

At present 37 of the borough’s 49 GP practices have opted into the Bolton Care Record – which holds details on a person’s health and social care history.

Patients with practices who have joined the scheme will be able to give their consent for bodies such as mental health services and social services to access their records.

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, says he is delighted with the number of surgeries signed up to the new initiative.

But he is calling on the remaining practices to also get on board, so patients can received the ‘best possible care’.

Dr Bhatiani said: “The main thing that is stopping them is concern about the wrong person having access to the record — that they will have information that perhaps they shouldn’t be looking at.

“There’s an in-built thing among doctors that everything that goes on in the consulting room is very confidential, and they want to protect that confidentiality.

“A health care professional has a duty of care to protect that information.

“But people are being looked after by different parts of the system, we have a duty to share that information , so that everybody gets the best possible care — that’s what’s underpinning it all. If I’m a patient and want the best possible care I want to make sure that person has that information. If they don’t, because someone is protecting it, I’m being short-changed.

“We have a duty to protect information, but we also have a duty to share that information so patients can get the best possible care.”

Dr Bhatiani, who is himself a GP, added: “The advantage for a patient is that the person looking after them has all the information they need to help them.

“The one thing that really helps me in my consulting room when I see a patient is if I have all their records in front of me — I can see all the key things from their past and their medication.

“Every now and again our systems drop off and that makes the care of that patient that much more difficult.”

He continued: “Having that record is an amazing, it helps me incredibly, which is why we’re so keen to get everybody on it. But at the same time some people don’t like everyone to have access to their medical records.We respect that, but it’s important they are given the choice."

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