Healthy progress for NHS e-record system

Second trial of GP-to-GP transfer...

Second trial of GP-to-GP transfer...

The second trial of the electronic transfer of a patient's healthcare record from one GP surgery to another has been completed.

The record was electronically transferred from Cowes Health Centre to Grove House Surgery on the Isle of Wight, via the NHS Spine using clinical software from supplier In Practice Systems, according to NHS Connecting for Health.

The first live trial of the GP-to-GP system late last year used the Emis GP clinical system software.

The GP-to-GP system allows the complete electronic patient record to be transferred directly to the new surgery's computer system - rather than being sent in paper format and then reinputted manually.

Paper-based transfers of medical records can take up to six weeks to complete. And with 3.3 million people changing their GP every year, that's a lot of paper in the post.

Dr Paul Cundy, chairman of the British Medical Association's GP IT committee, said in a statement: "The electronic transfer of patient records from one GP surgery to another is an enormous benefit for patients and practices alike."

A third live trial in another primary care trust is due later this year, transferring patient records between both types of GP clinical system.

National rollout of GP-to-GP transfers is expected to start following the live trials.