The chairman of the new Tory-commissioned report on NHS IT reform has warned that a "huge amount of work" needs to be done before patients can use personally held records, according to new reports.
Glyn Hayes, a GP and former head of the British Computer Society, chaired the NHS IT Policy Review Group set up by the Conservatives to appraise the controversial NHS National Program for IT (NPfIT).
The Tories jumped on the report's findings to launch new plans to scrap the NHS Spine and give patients the ability to store and update their own records via services such as Google Health.
But according to a Guardian report, Hayes is more cautious about such plans, pointing out that it is still essential that the NHS has its own patient records.
"The concept of personally held records has some merit, in terms of getting patient involvement, but there is a huge amount of work to do to see how that fits in with the realities of medical care. It cannot be the only record," he is reported as saying.
Such a system would therefore require an interface between personal records and those stored on NHS systems together with all the "standards for interoperability, functionality and privacy" that this would entail, he added.
Hayes is also reported as saying that Google Health, the online patient records service currently used only in the US, was only mentioned very briefly in the report, and that Google did not even respond to the group's request for evidence.
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