Bury PCT has become the latest PCT using INPS Vision to begin using electronic GP2GP record transfers of patient records.

The system was deployed simultaneously across all 33 practices in the PCT last last month. All use Vision and have Choose and Book and release one of the Electronic Prescription Service installed.

Bury PCT had initially expressed an interest in being the pilot site for the GP2GP system, which supports the transfer of electronic patient records between GP practices, but instead were approached by Connecting for Health to become an early adopter introducing the system across the PCT.

Bury PCT’s Professional Executive Committee (PEC) lead for IM&T, Dr John Hampson told E-Health Insider Primary Care: "All of Bury’s practices use Vision so we were able to deploy GP2GP to all of our practices and have GP records coming in and out for the entire PCT."

GP2GP record transfers between practices caused by patients moving or switching practice. The service starts when a practice accepts a new or returning patient onto the practice list to receive treatment and ends when the Electronic Health Record (EHR) is transferred from the previous practice into the new GP clinical system.

Once the patient is accepted, a message is sent to the previous practice requesting a copy of the patient’s EHR – as long as the originating practice is GP2GP enabled. The previous practice locates the patient and then sends an acknowledgement stating whether they are able to provide the EHR Extract or not. If they are capable of providing it, then the EHR Extract message is generated from the patient health record held on their GP clinical system and subsequently sent to the new practice for integration into their GP clinical system.

Dr Hampson told EHIPC: “The system is very impressive, until now medical records have been printed out to paper when patients change practices and the new practice has to key selected information back into their computer system.

Local practices have received a number of records containing over one thousand clinical entries, which have successfully rebuilt into complete Vision records, including attachments.

For the first time, they have been able to view and manipulate up to 20 years prescribing data and 10 years of pathology results for patients moving within the PCT.

INPS told EHIPC that the addition of Bury, along with the Isle of Wight and Hampshire means that 54 practices now have GP2GP deployed.

INPS’ IT director, Russell Blackmore said: “Deployment of GP2GP is going very well. The crucial thing is that surgeries now have a full medical record for patients noting everything and reducing the need for administrative time being spent on retyping patient data.

“The acid test will be what happens when GP2GP v1.1 is released and we have INPS and EMIS systems collaborating to transfer records across. We will be piloting this in Croydon next year.”

Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) is planning to deploy GP2GP v1.0 software to 500 practices by the end of March 2007 and has been in discussions with both EMIS and InPS regarding the deployment schedule.