GP representatives must ensure that a halt is put to the development of centrally-held patient records, this year’s local medical committees’ conference will hear.

The conference, to be held next month, is to debate a motion calling on the BMA’s General Practitioner Committee (GPC) to stop the development of centrally-held records and to promote a national publicity campaign to warn patients of the risks arising from their records being held on a national database.

Hertfordshire LMC is one of more than ten LMCs which have submitted motions to the conference expressing no confidence in the government’s record on handling confidential data and questioning current plans for the NHS Care Records Service (NCRS). The Hertfordshire motion calls for a halt to the development of centrally-held records and the promotion of the “much safer option” of locally held-interconnected record storage.

Dr Mark Andrews, chairman of Hertfordshire LMC, told EHI Primary Care: “If the government can lose two discs with the child benefit records of every child in the country what guarantees are there for the safety of patient records?”

Dr Andrews said the LMC also had concerns about the money being spent on developing centrally-held records, the impact of multiple contributors to records and the future development of systems if the number of suppliers was reduced to just one or two.

North Yorkshire LMC, supported by Bradford and Airedale LMC, submitted a motion calling for a publicity campaign to promote the dangers of a national database because it claimed the “government has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to maintain securely, confidential patient health records.”

The LMCs’ conference will hear calls for a reiteration of its existing policy that no patient data should be uploaded to the spine without patients’ expressed consent and a call for the GPC to desist from working with the government until comprehensive patient confidentiality guarantees and data security are in place.

In another priority motion, GP representatives will argue that GPs should remain as custodians of detailed electronic patient records and demand that records should only be editable by the originating organisation.

Coventry LMC’ s motion on the subject, one of 12 similar motions from LMCs, also states that detailed electronic records should never be accessible in total outside the originating organisation without explicit patient consent and the knowledge of the originating organisation and that it should be possible to block parts of the records from sharing outside the originating organisation.

The conference, to be held on June 12 and 13 at the Institute of Education in London, will also debate motions about the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) including a call for the government to “publicly acknowledge and laud” practices’ achievements on the QOF and a call for clinical parameters to be reinstated “rather than subjective patient opinion for which there is no evidence of health benefit”.

Related document

LMCs’ conference agenda