GP representatives have advised GP practices to complete NHS Connecting for Health’s Information Governance Toolkit, despite concerns about its suitability for general practice.

The BMA’s General Practitioner Committee has told GP practices that they are not contractually obliged to complete the toolkit, but have emphasised that it is required for accessing CfH services.

Dr Paul Cundy, deputy chairman of the GPC’s IT Committee, told EHI Primary Care that the toolkit had been created and published before the GPC was aware of it.

He added: “It’s been redeveloped using GP enthusiasts and the problem is that it is completely inappropriate for GP practices.”

Guidance issued by the GPC states that completing the toolkit means that practices can sign up to the IG Assurance Statement, which in turn is a requirement for accessing CfH services such as the N3 network.

The CfH website adds: “It is essential that every organisation meets the obligations of the IG Toolkit and complies with the IG Assurance Statement to the required standards to safeguard NHS Connecting for Health services and information for all.”

A spokesperson for the BMA told EHI Primary Care that the GPC would be liaising with CfH on a more user-friendly version of the toolkit but said it was a requirement for accessing CfH systems and added: “We think it would be good practice to complete the toolkit.”

The guidance adds that the toolkit should not be confused with CfH’s IG Training Tool, which is a series of modules on information governance involving 11 hours of training. The GPC says this is not mandatory.