The new consent to view model for the NHS Summary Care Record in England may also be applied to the detailed care records held by NHS organisations.

NHS Connecting for Health is to explore how the principle of ‘consent to view’ – announced as the new model for the SCR last week – could work when patients’ detailed care records are accessed.

Dr Gillian Braunold, clinical director for the SCR, said the consent to view principle was being explored for cases in which information generated and held by one organisation was made available to another. It would not apply to records generated and held within one organisation.

“The principle of whether or not you could bring in consent to view before you look at records, when you wouldn’t normally expect the information to be available, is what is being explored.”

South West Essex Primary Care Trust, the sixth early adopter site for the SCR, which has yet to go live, has already said that the consent model for detailed care records held by SystmOne must align with the consent to view model for the SCR.

Dr Braunold also told E-Health Insider and E-Health Insider Primary Care that she hoped the first hospitals would be able to upload discharge letters to the SCR at the end of the year. The software would include sealed envelope functionality to allow hospitals to withhold information that patients did not want uploaded.

CfH is also working with out-of-hours IT provider Adastra to enable information from out-of-hours encounters to be uploaded, she said.

The information uploaded to the Spine for the SCR from GP records will remain medicines and allergies. However, GPs will have discretion to add significant past medical history.

In the future, Dr Braunold said England hoped to follow Wales in introducing an ‘exclusion dataset’ that would mean particularly sensitive information, such as details on HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and terminations, could not be inadvertently sent to the SCR.

The technical amendments needed for the SCR are due to be delivered through BT’s Clinical Spine Application in release 2008b, which will be in place before Easter 2009, according to Dr Braunold.

The SCR is due to be rolled out nationally in 2009-10.