NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) has announced that since 15 December 2008, more than 5,000 GP practices have been using GP2GP, the national system that enables patients' electronic health records to be transferred directly from one GP practice to another.
This means more patients in England who register with a new GP practice now benefit from the clinician having their medical record available at their first appointment.
Further clinical system suppliers and software products are planned to join the rollout this year, bringing additional functionality and benefits to users of GP2GP.
Lee House Practice in Berkshire has been live since the start of the national rollout. Deputy Practice Manager Pauline Heywood said: "GP2GP transfer is simple, easy to use with immediate benefits to the patient and practice. Seamless continuity of care for all involved, at the press of a few buttons, just the way it should be."
Currently, GP2GP is available to practices using EMIS LV and INPS Vision 3 clinical systems.
Sean Riddell, Managing Director of EMIS, said: "The success of the project is a demonstration of true collaborative working between all parties highlighting that joined up healthcare can give real benefits to GPs and patients.
"The number of practices able to use GP2GP has grown significantly, with 70% of EMIS practices in England now able to complete transfers."
Max Brighton, Managing Director of INPS, also said: "GP2GP functionality has now been deployed to the vast majority of all Vision practices in England. The project has enjoyed widespread support from both the GP community and CFH team and this has helped to ensure that the real benefits to patients and clinicians were delivered in a timely fashion and covering a very high percentage of the population in England."
Do you use GP2GP? If so, have have you found it? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"We are 'using' it, but the number of practices using it is not a true reflection of how widespread its effectiveness is. We get 3–4 GP2GP transfers per week, a tiny fraction of the number of patients we have leave/join our practice. And we still have to print off and send summaries, so it is just another layer on the old, paper-based system. Progress? Ha ha ha ..." – Claire Deare, location withheld