This site is intended for health professionals only
Tuesday 19 February 2019
Share |

Topic: IT

February 1, 2019

Practices will be given access to a data protection officer (DPO) through their CCG, according to the new GP contract.
 
The five-year contract, announced by NHS England and the BMA yesterday, will also see a £20m funding boost added to the global sum each year – for the next three years – to cover GPs when dealing with subject access requests (SARs).
 

January 30, 2019

A former challenger for Labour leader has publicly criticised GP practices' systems of allocating appointments to patients, calling them ‘frustrating and ineffective’.
 
In a series of posts, MP Owen Smith - who unsuccessfully challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party leadership in 2016 - highlighted his own difficulties in securing a GP appointment through what he called the 'telephone at 8.30am and try your luck' system.
 

January 25, 2019

The CCG hosting Babylon GP at Hand might not be able to ‘pay its bills’, due to finanicial pressures caused by tens of thousands of patients signing up to the digital-first NHS GP service.
 
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG reported a £2.5m cash deficit, citing Babylon GP at Hand as the ‘key driver’ of cashflow issues, and said the situation is ‘expected to worsen in the near future’.
 
Currently, Babylon GP at Hand has around 34,000 patients, according to the CCG papers.
 

January 23, 2019

All practices in England will offer the NHS App to patients by 1 July 2019, NHS England said today.
 
The App, which was trialled with over 3,000 patients across 30 GP practices in England, is now being rolled out in England and is already available for patients to download from Apple App or Google Play stores.
 
A web-based version of it will be launched in the following months, NHS England said.
 

January 15, 2019

CCGs should fund data protection officers to help overworked practices cope with patient data requests, the GP partnership review has suggested.

January 3, 2019

Practices will not be given the right to charge for patient information requests as it would ‘weaken the rights of patients’, culture, media and sport minister Margot James has said.
 
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May, practices can no longer charge a nominal fee for digging out patient information.
 
GPs say that since the data has had to be provided for free, they have seen a large rise in time-consuming requests which is adding to costs and GP workloads
 

January 2, 2019

The Government has launched the procurement process for providers of new GP IT systems, marking the first shake-up to the market in over a decade.
 
The Department of Health and Social Care said the 'GP IT Futures framework' would open up competition to more providers and ensure more systems were available that are suited to 'the digital age'.
 

December 14, 2018

GP practices are dealing with a barrage of subject access requests (SARs) since the new GDPR data protection regulations were introduced earlier this year.
 
A BMA survey of 1,500 GPs showed that SARs have increased by over a third (36%) since the rules – which mean practices can no longer charge a nominal fee for such requests – came into force in May. 
 

December 10, 2018

GP practices will not be allowed to buy fax machines from January next year and the equipment will be phased out by end of March 2020, the Government has announced.
 
This measure, which is part of the Government’s tech vision for the health service, will also see NHS organisations being monitored on a quarterly basis until they are fully ‘fax free’.
 
Organisations will have to invest in modern technology, such as secure emails, to improve cyber security, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
 

December 7, 2018

Practice managers have been asked to re-send nearly 20 years' worth of immunisation records to NHS England, as part of a national drive for improved child health data.
 
Practice managers were told the task - which would involve extracting all new registrations and immunisations since October 1999 from GP records - is to ensure there are no gaps in the records held by NHS England.
 

December 6, 2018

A former trainee medical secretary working in a GP practice in England has been fined by a court after admitting to reading patients' medical records for reasons unrelated to her job role.
 
Hannah Pepper began work at the Fakenham Medical Practice in August 201,5 where her role required her to access medical records to help doctors, solicitors and insurance companies. She had also been given training on how to securely and ethically handle patient data.
 

November 30, 2018

Health secretary Matt Hancock has given an interview to the Evening Standard praising private GP service provider Babylon in an article carrying Babylon branding.
 
Mr Hancock said of Babylon’s GP at Hand app that that ‘by serving some people more efficiently this technology allows more resources for people visiting GPs directly’.
 
The interview appeared alongside Babylon branding in the Evening Standard’s ‘Future London’ supplement on Wednesday 28 November.
 

November 19, 2018

NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG has lifted its clinical restrictions for which patients Babylon's GP at Hand app should sign up.
 
The service has been criticised by GP leaders for 'cherry-picking' young, fit and healthy patients - as patients with a range of conditions were advised it may not be 'clinically appropriate' for them to use the service.

November 14, 2018

The BMA has urged NHS England to end Capita’s contract for GP back office services, after it failed to deliver correspondence relating to cervical cancer screening to 47,700 women.
 
The BMA has written to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens after becoming aware of the issue, which it said mainly relates to appointment invitations or reminder letters, but does include some screening results.
 

November 12, 2018

Data outages affect the ‘nuts and bolts’ of GP practices and the IT system in Wales needs to improve to ensure practices can assist their patients, RCGP Wales has said.
 
In response to a report on the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) published by the Welsh National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, RCGP Wales said the findings should ‘kickstart a process that improves digital technology in the Welsh NHS’.
 

November 12, 2018

Some GP practices have been left with ‘extraordinarily high numbers of documents to check’ following errors with the Docman system.
 
In some cases, practices were having to manually check 'in excess of a thousand' documents following the IT glitch, which was reported in August and caused documents received by practices through NHSmail to be left out from patient records.
 

November 9, 2018

A myriad of letters flow into GP practices every day, consuming a large part of the team’s time.
 
Dr Andrew Venning, a GP partner at Cricketfield Surgery in Devon, worked with his team to create a system that would help his practice save time on reviewing correspondence.
 
The new way of working was introduced just over a year ago and has since helped the practice save on average 25 hours per week of GP time, which roughly equates to 1,300 hours a year.
 
The problem
 

November 7, 2018

Private provider Babylon’s chatbot – an AI software that triages patients based on their symptoms, without a doctor’s intervention – could offer patients a less effective service than a GP, a letter published in medical journal The Lancet has suggested.
 
In a study published in June, Babylon, which provides the GP at Hand service to NHS patients, analysed the efficacy of its AI chatbot in primary care triage and diagnosis.

November 2, 2018

A Scottish GP practice in Wick has trialled video appointments this week in a bid to meet patients’ needs, NHS Highland has said.
 
From 29 November, a nurse and a GP based at Riverview Practice in Wick offered video appointments to patients who did not need to be seen face-to-face.
 
The service, called GP Near Me, is an extension of an existing NHS Highland’s NHS Near Me video consulting service, which is used for hospital outpatient appointments.
 

November 1, 2018

A Swedish GP provider offering video consultations has launched its service in the NHS.
 
Forty practices in North West Surrey are now offering GP video consultations following a partnership between North West Surrey integrated care services (NICS) GP federation and LIVI, the video consultation provider.
 

October 23, 2018

There is a ‘substantial variety’ of health education material on offer in GP waiting rooms, and the material is often ‘outdated and poorly presented’, a new study has found.
 
Researchers from the University of Brighton analysed responses from over 500 patients, who completed a questionnaire anonymously, across 19 practices in Brighton and Hove. 
 

October 22, 2018

Commissioners in parts of England have suggested they will charge practices up to £1,800 a year to access data protection officers that are required under new laws, our sister publication Pulse has revealed.
 
Under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on 25 May, GPs must designate a data protection officer (DPO) to monitor compliance to the law and act as a point of contact for patients requesting access to their data.
 

October 8, 2018

NHS IT system provider EMIS Health has sent out a survey to 300,000 GP patients asking whether they would consider paying to see their GP more quickly.

October 8, 2018

A small number of GP practices have been selected to electronically prescribe controlled drugs (CDs) as part of a pilot scheme, NHS Digital has announced.
 
A total of 10 practices based in Yorkshire, the North West and London and using the Emis Health and Vision systems, started with the pilot on 2 October.
 
They are now able to prescribe drugs such as morphine and tramadol that it was previously not possible to send through the electronic prescription service (EPS).