New service set to improve quality of care

NHS LANARKSHIRE is expanding its patient information system to give key authorised clinical staff access to a summary of a patients GP record. Photo caption:  (L-R) Dr Tyra Smyth, Dr Bill Martin and Dr Bruce Thomson.
NHS LANARKSHIRE is expanding its patient information system to give key authorised clinical staff access to a summary of a patients GP record. Photo caption: (L-R) Dr Tyra Smyth, Dr Bill Martin and Dr Bruce Thomson.

Key authorised clinical staff in the NHS Lanarkshire area will now have access to a summary of a patient’s GP record.

Until recently, if a patient has to attend hospital, clinical staff access recorded information about a patient via their medical record.

However, the expanded system with the GP summary, will give authorised hospital and A&E clinical staff and, in some cases, community nursing and out-of-hours staff access to key information.

This may include a patient’s current medication, any allergies they have, and what reactions they may have to certain medications – allowing these staff to make better informed decisions about a patient’s treatment requirements.

The GP summary information has always been supplied as part of the referral process but this new improved access will ensure the most recent information is available at the time of a hospital appointment or in an emergency situation, which will improve patient care and health outcomes.

Dr Bruce Thomson, a Lanarkshire GP in the Lincludden Medical Practice in Bothwell and chairman of the group overseeing the expansion, said: “This GP summary will make a real difference to the quality of care clinical staff are able to give patients.

“Sometimes patients do not always know what medicines they are taking or they may be too ill to give details.

“By having access to this information, clinical staff can provide better and safer advice and care.”

Dr Bill Martin added: “Any patient concerned about their GP summary being included in the expanded system is entitled to opt-out, although we’d discourage this as they could be missing out on the improvements which the expanded system will bring.”

Dr Tyra Smith, secretary of the Lanarkshire Local Medical Committeesaid: “The LLMC is fully behind this expansion as it’s a system that’s already been successfully introduced in NHS Tayside.

“The clinical staff allowed to access the summary information will be strictly controlled to those involved in a particular patient’s care.”

A patient information leaflet with information on the GP summary system can be obtained from your GP practice.