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Further Updated Practice Statement: Medical Records

Over the last month, there have been several changes and updates to NHS England’s plan to change how patients can access their medical records.

It centres around a proposed change to automatically give all patients full access to their prospective (or future) medical records. This change was due to happen on 1st November 2022.

Gosforth Memorial Medical Centre issued a statement detailing our concerns about this process that day. Without clear answers about how we could mitigate risks, we would be unable to comply.

We were then informed that NHS England had instructed the providers of all GP clinical systems to switch on this prospective access automatically on 30th November 2022. You can read our follow-up statement in response to that change here.

Since then, in collaboration with our neighbouring practices in North Gosforth Primary Care Network, we have been developing systems and protocols to reduce risk and ensure patient safety, especially regarding vulnerable patients and safeguarding.

This week, on the 29th November, the day before the automatic switch-on was due to happen, the British Medical Association announced:

“Following extensive negotiations and discussions with NHS England, the national mass rollout to turn on prospective access to the medical record from 30th November 2022 is not now occurring for those who wish to delay the process.”

Gosforth Memorial Medical Centre can confirm that along with all other practices in North Gosforth, we have requested a delay to the automatic switching on of all prospective medical records.

As we said in our previous statements, we wholeheartedly support patients’ rights to access their medical information.

We will continue to grant access on request when we can review and, if necessary, redact any information that may impact patient safety.

At the time of writing, there is no further information on when NHS England may reschedule the proposed changes. We will continue to update patients as and when the situation develops.