NHS Future Forum talks sense on patients and medical records: i.e. we need a plan!

Much will be written about the NHS Future Forum’s report out today.  And a lot of it will be preoccupied with its recommendation that health professionals should proactively give patients all-round health advice.

Personally, I think it a good idea although you’d have thought the Forum has advocated ‘in your face healthcare’ judging by some of the reactions.

The Forum’s report covers a wide agenda.  So, just to highlight the Forum’s recommendations on information which seem very grounded and sensible and which read as follows:

Information

  • Patients should have access to their online GP-held records by the end of this Parliament.
  • The NHS must move to using its IT systems to share data about individual patients and service users electronically in the interests of high quality care.
  • The Government should set a clear deadline within the current Parliament by which all information about clinical outcomes is put in the public domain.

The Government’s 2015 deadline for giving patients online access to their medical records is an exciting if not liberating one.  But it is to the credit of the Forum that they have challenged the Government to come up with a proper project plan to make that happen.

Back later….

Available in all good GP surgeries – new patient information leaflet on the use of patient data for research

This leaflet ‘Your health records saves lives’ (click on the picture below) marks the fruits of much hard work by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) partnership over two years.

Conceived, designed and written with patients very much as partners in the process, it seeks to explain how patient data is used for research purposes.

From Monday 21 November it will be available in 6000+ GP surgeries in England as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland filling a huge void in what patients can get from their primary care providers on this topic. We’ll be evaliasing it over the winter and hopefully will have a case therafter to scale it up in terms of availability.

You can view a copy on the NHS Choices website and please forward it far and wide. I imagine the other UKCRC partners will carry it on their websites in due course too.

Note the NIHR involvement. When the Academy of Medical Sciences published their report on research regulation (‘A new pathway to etc etc…’) earlier this year, they urged NIHR to support work such as this which would raise public awareness of the importance to health research of patient data and the willingness of patients to participate and become involved. So, they have made a small but significant step towards meeting this call by supporting this leaflet.