A GP has claimed that iSoft’s Synergy system requires practices to get patients to give consent for their data to be uploaded to the Summary Care Record before they can use the Electronic Prescription Service.

Dr Paul Cundy, a GP in Wimbledon and former chair of the joint IT committee of the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, says he discovered a link between the two systems when his own practice decided to begin using EPS Release One.

He told EHI Primary Care that he has asked iSoft to remove the link as soon as possible but that he has been told no changes will be made until Release Two, currently scheduled for October 2009.

He told EHI Primary Care: “The agreement with NHS Connecting for Health is that there should be no link between the EPS and SCR. It is fairly clear that this is a mistake in the way that they have implemented it, but it needs to be put right immediately.”

The EPS software in Synergy is currently set up so that a GP needs to check a box saying the patient has given consent for their data to be uploaded to the Spine before a prescription with an EPS bar code can be printed out.

Dr Cundy added: “I have complained to the primary care trust and asked iSoft to put this right and they have told me they will do it for Release Two but that is not quick enough.”

A spokesperson for iSoft told EHI Primary Care: “The company was very recently made aware of this issue. It will be corrected in the next release of its application."

Latest CfH statistics show that 7,222 practices have had technical upgrades to EPS Release One. However, EPS is used for only 24% of prescriptions.