Archives for February 5th, 2002

NHS DIRECT AND GPs SHARE PATIENT INFORMATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 February, 2002

A pilot project is trialing an information link between NHS Direct, the phone in health helpline, and GP practices within the area of the trial. If the project is successful and rolled out nationally it will remove the difficulty that GPs are normally quite unaware that patients have been in contact with the helpline, and when they do find out they do not know what treatment, if any, was prescribed.Provided patients give their consent, an electronic message can be sent to the GP’s computer system and entered automatically on the patient’s record, giving a true picture of what has happened to the patient. Information will include the patient’s address, telephone number and GP, the date and time of contact, the problem details, who took the call and if it was passed for advice or a visit. In return NHS Direct will receive information from the GP providing details of any further consultations with the patient. Patient information sent electronically is protected by encryption and digital signature to ensure security and confidentiality.

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PLANS FOR PRISONERS TO KEEP DAY JOBS

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 February, 2002

Home secretary David Blunkett wants offenders convicted of non-violent crimes to be allowed out of prison on weekdays so they can go to work. The proposals envisage hostels on and off prison premises where prisoners would spend evenings and weekends in custody. This type of hostel facility is currently available on RAF bases and other stations. During the day thousands of offenders would wear electronic tags, or voice recognition technology would be used to ensure that they did not abscond.Mr Blunkett said he wants to give judges and magistrates an alternative to “soft” community service sentences or “over the top” jail terms for more minor offences. Such measures would respond to the issue of 60% of inmates reoffending on release and would also mean resources could be concentrated on taking a harder line against more dangerous offenders.

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