Patient records are to go online in London after long delays in the rollout of the government’s £12bn NHS IT upgrade.
The summary care records are intended to hold details of medications, allergies, adverse reactions and other key health information, and can be added to by any doctor treating a patient.
The first records will be uploaded at the Princess Street Group Practice in Southwark on 19 November.
Patients Association director Katherine Murphy said: “This system has great potential for making care safer.
“It can help staff from across the NHS work together more effectively. But some people will feel uneasy about the scheme, especially considering the NHS record on data protection.”
Concerns have been raised about the fact that some patients have reported having difficulty opting out of the scheme.
Health minister Mike O’Brien said: “Having the right information at the right time can make all the difference to patients’ experience of urgent care. Summary care records can improve the quality and safety of treatment provided as well as increasing people’s comfort and reassurance.
“We are particularly interested in the experience at Bury, which has incorporated end of life wishes for a substantial number of patients. Moving the NHS from good to great needs improvements such as this.”
NHS London chief executive Ruth Carnall said: “Getting hold of health records for London’s highly mobile population often presents real challenges to doctors and nurses when patients need out of hours and emergency care.
“The summary care record has demonstrated clear benefits elsewhere in the country and NHS London is keen to bring these to the capital.”