The Read code 93C3 will be used as one way of identifying patients who do not wish to have a summary care record written to the NHS Spine, the Summary Care Record Advisory Group has agreed.

The group, which met for the first time last week, accepted a recommendation from Connecting for Health (CfH) that 93C3 (refused consent for upload to national electronic shared record) should be used as one way of preventing patient information being uploaded to the Spine for those who decide to opt-out. Software for the Summary Care Record (SCR) will also include functionality to enable practices to indicate where a patient wishes to opt out of the SCR.

Dr Gillian Braunold, joint GP clinical lead for CfH, said that until now the clinical leads had been unable to advise GPs that use of the code would necessarily prevent information being uploaded to the spine but that the decision by the Summary Care Record Advisory Group changed that.

She told EHI Primary Care: “The advisory group has agreed that the presence of that code would send a message to the spine that that patient had chosen not to have a summary record.”

Dr Braunold said the presence of the code would also be transferred with the record as part of GP2GP if a patient moved practice.

She said the first of the pilot sites for the SCR would start by Easter with practices in the other pilot areas following once the primary care trusts and practices involved were ready. An external evaluation of the pilot sites will take place before the SCR is rolled out nationwide.

Dr Braunold added: “There are a lot of dependencies involved such as data quality for practices, supplier readiness and communication with patients but by Easter the first one should be going.”

The British Medical Association has told its members that if a patient wishes to opt out it should be recorded on their record and the GP practice should discuss their request nearer to the time when the SCR is launched in their area.

The BMA recommends that practices should not opt out patients by default  as it believes patients should be fully informed before they decide whether they would like to opt out.


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