House of Commons Library

A paperless NHS: electronic health records

Published Monday, April 25, 2016

House of Commons Library briefing for Westminster Hall debate on "Use of digital records in the NHS".

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This briefing has been prepared ahead of the debate in Westminster Hall on Thursday 28 April at 3pm on use of digital records in the NHS. The Member in charge is Geoffrey Clifton-Brown. 

The Government has committed to making all patient and care records digital, real-time and interoperable by 2020. There will be a staged approach to electronic health records - by 2016 all patients should be able to access their own GP electronic record online in full, seeing not just a summary of their allergies and medication but blood test results, appointment records and medical histories. By 2018 this record will include information from all their health and care interactions. By 2020, the NHS has committed to be “paper-free at the point of care”.

Additionally, the NHS is introducing Summary Care Records - electronic health records of essential patient data - to enable healthcare staff across the country to provide immediate care and treatment. As of February 2016, 55million people have had a Summary Care Record created.

NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (now NHS Digital) will also introduce the care.data programme; a national collection of anonymous patient data to enable population-level analysis of health trends.

This briefing relates to the NHS in England.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7572

Author: Elizabeth Parkin

Topics: Health services, Information technology, Patient rights and complaints

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