The British Medical Association has become the latest organisation to call for a public inquiry into the national IT programme.

The BMA's annual representative meeting passed a resolution warning the project was 'exorbitantly expensive' and 'doomed to fail'.

The conference passed a resolution that the BMA should advise members not to co-operate with centralised storage care records because it 'seriously endangers patient confidentiality'. Devon local medical committee chair Dr Charlie Daniels warned that patients were being 'bullied' into the service.

The BMA's latest concerns were voiced as two figures closely associated with the national programme departed. IT minister Lord Hunt was replaced by Ben Bradshaw, while director general of NHS IT Richard Granger announced his 'transition' back to the private sector.

But there are sign that the rollout of the summary element of the care records service is starting to gather momentum. Connecting for Health was able to announce a third pilot for the summary record at the start of the summer.

Dorset primary care trust joined Bolton and Bury PCTs in piloting the scheme. A PCT press release said: 'GP practices will automatically create a summary record unless a patient dissents' by the start of November.

Delegates also described choose and book as a 'shambles', 'unfit for purpose' and liable to limit patient choice by distorting referral patterns an issue the BMA will now investigate.

CfH has been forced to admit that uptake of the system is still less than half the government's target level of 90 per cent. It has appointed GP Dr Stephen Millar as medical director in an attempt to persuade doctors of the benefits of the new system.