A recent consult with a new patient led to some interesting insights into how p*ss poor, sorry for the naughty grunt word, the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) scheme is given the fact that it has been at least 7 years in the making.
The instigator of this idea was a public school educated Scot with shiny teeth and not much else who is currently earning loads of wads doing nothing useful and has a track record in computing equivalent to Pol Pot's in providing better modern healthcare to the masses. Come to think of it the former did something similar in the UK too. We digress.
The patient had a chronic illness and so needed medication to sustain life and we here at ND Central ask all new patients to see us with regard to their medication. Most of the time this is routine and we merely place the patient's previous medication onto our computer system and print off a repeat prescription and advise them how to get another.
Sometimes this is useful for we have had "diabetics" on treatment whose previous GPs had diagnosed them with diabetes with a random blood sugar of 8 or whose previous medication was lethal or whose previous GPs had got it completely wrong or who had failed to investigate what they were treating their patient for. For most patients this is an inconvenience but sometimes seeing a new doctor with a clean sheet can be to your benefit in contrast to the Party's view that your SCR is completely right.
Our new patient asked to be excluded from their QOF (Quality and Outcome Framework) defined illnesses which if we were true Party players would immediately suggest severe mental illness in our patient and automatic inclusion on another Party defined register but we had no problem with individual freedom and so we "excepted" our patient at their request and with their fully informed consent.
This will no doubt incur the wrath of the local Soviet for GPs in the UK are only allowed a certain percentage of informed dissenters. Go above that and even if you have a highly intelligent well read practice population who see through the Party you will receive a visit from one of the Senator McCarthy QOF tsars at the local Soviet to ask you about your above target dissent rate. (These McCarthys think that high dissent rates = work avoidance rather than patients exercising NHS Choice).
We know our patient will get far better care from our local excellent consultants at the local teaching hospital for they have been providing this for the patient long before QOF was even thought of.
Our new patient also had another request. They wanted to know if their request to have their medical records withheld from the SCR had been transferred from their previous GP to us and would their medically confidential data be safe from widespread viewing via the NHS super secure sieve called the SCR?
The answer was that their GP electronic record had not been transferred to us.
Only their Lloyd George paper GP records which are probably still the most complete patient record in the UK and somewhere in it amongst realms and realms and realms of computer printouts maybe the patient's request to be excluded from the SCR might be found. Their last 2 years of medical records printed off from NHS Party Care records will outweigh the succinct 50 years of hand written records. To our patient's disgust we showed them their (blank) medical record on the computer screen, which in contrast to some GPs is always viewable by our patients.
The computer screen on a little hidden drop down box told the patient that they had given their implied consent to the creation of a full SCR despite them never have been consulted and despite them previously and actively opted out of this scheme many years before at their previous doctors.
So in true Soviet style the current Tripartite NHS confidentiality position is that all patients give implied consent to the disclosure of their medical records in the same way that MPs all gave their implied consent to disclosure of their expenses and did not object at all to their disclosure.
And yet we as GPs have to respect any corrupt MPs medical confidentiality as they are allowed not even to appear on the SCR or the NHS spine something you will have great trouble with if you wished to do so as a private citizen or were even allowed to do so as a private citizen which you are not comrade patient.
Remember Comrade Andrew and his sound bite no decision about me without me quote?
Praise be to the Party for its assumption that all patients want a Stasi record in the same way that East Germans gave their consent for the same. Our patient was not impressed with this arrogant assumption having already opted out once and we are now all making completely unnecessary appointments with our GPs to check if their computer systems do the same for some have changed supplier.