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Medical Records

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what data is currently being stored on the Summary Care Record. (221545)

The information in the summary care record (SCR) is extracted from the general practitioner's record and, at present, is limited to basic information—personal demographic details, current medications, adverse reactions and allergies.

Whether additional information is added in the future will depend on decisions taken through the normal governance process to include clinical representations and patient preferences. Eventually, summaries of health problems and the care provided could be added and updated each time patients who choose to have a SCR receive national health service care. Clearly, the precise information stored on the SCR will differ from patient to patient.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many detailed care records are currently held in data centres operated by each of the National Programme for IT’s local service providers; (221552)

(2) whether National Programme for IT’s local service providers plan to operate a data centre for the detailed care records of each NHS care provider;

(3) how many data centres each of the National Programme for IT’s local service providers plans to hold detailed care records;

(4) how many detailed care records are currently held in data centres operated by each of the National Programme for IT’s local service providers.

All national programme for information technology systems which are able to be deployed to the national health service via a hosted solution from a secure, resilient, reliable, enterprise standard, data centre are supported through that means with appropriate business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements in place. By exception, there are some existing systems or additional services provided through local service providers that do not lend themselves to this technical approach at present.

Currently the number of data centres used by local service providers (LSPs) is as follows:

CSC: 4;

BT LSP: 2;

Fujitsu: 2; and

Accenture: 2, for its Picture Archiving and Communications Service.

There are no current plans to increase or decrease this number.

Information is not held centrally on the number of detailed care records currently held in data centres.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much the independent evaluation of the care record system commissioned from UCL cost; (221555)

(2) what plans he has to fund further independent evaluation of the Connecting for Health programme;

(3) when he will publish a response to the independent evaluation of the care records system commissioned from UCL.

The contracted cost of the independent evaluation of the summary care record (SCR) early adopters programme, carried out by a team from the Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences at University College London, was £272,204.

We have no current plans to publish a formal response to the evaluation team's findings. NHS Connecting for Health is considering and discussing the important issues raised in the evaluation report with key stakeholders, and the summary care record advisory group was asked to consider urgently the report's findings and to advise on how these will inform the future roll out of the SCR. As we have stated consistently, the findings and recommendations of the independent review will be taken into account in planning further roll out of the SCR.

Under its Health Evaluation Programme, NHS Connecting for Health has commissioned a number of further projects to evaluate aspects of the national programme for information technology. The University of Birmingham has been commissioned to manage the evaluation programme. Further information on the programme, including details of current projects and on-going work, together with final reports and publications, is on the NHS Connecting for Health evaluation programme website, run by the university of Birmingham, at:

www.pcpoh.bham.ac.uk/publichealth/cfhep/

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS care providers will maintain their own electronic patient records once the National Programme for IT's local service providers roll-out their strategic solutions on a national basis. (221562)

All clinicians are required by their professional bodies, and for clinical governance and medico-legal reasons to keep clear, accurate, legible and contemporaneous patient records, and to keep these secure and confidential. This is most often likely to be in electronic form. This is irrespective of the national programme for IT and systems implemented by local service providers. Patients are able to opt out of having their clinical information uploaded to the “spine”, the national database of key information about patients' health and care within the national health service care records service, by choosing not to have a summary care record.