To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how he intends to speed up the method of record exchange so as to make it easier for the patient to change doctors.
The computerisation of patient registration data held by family practitioner committees (to be completed by March 1988) and of data held on the National Health Service central register at Southport (planned for 1990) should reduce delays in the transfer of patients' records. This will not of itself make it easier for patients to change doctors. It is, however, our aim to do this, as stated in paragraph 3.33 of the recent White Paper "Promoting Better Health" (Cm. 249).