Patient summary care records will not include more information than necessary to ensure safe treatment in emergencies and unplanned care, it has been announced.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley confirmed that the national roll-out of care records will continue and that the records would only contain information on allergies, prescribed medication and adverse reactions to drugs.
Under the original plan, the centrally held records were to be extended to contain information on inpatient and outpatient discharge summaries and use of out of hours services.
The scheme was suspended in April after the British Medical Association warned that it was being rolled out too quickly.
A review conducted by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, published this week, found clinicians should have access to essential medical information in certain circumstances and that the records should have a clearly defined minimal scope.
Another review, led by director of patient and public affairs Joan Saddler, focused on communication with patients and found it was important patients were given a chance to opt out.
Sir Bruce said: “In an advanced national healthcare system it is reasonable for citizens to expect that when they arrive in accident and emergency or require treatment out of hours that clinicians treating them have access to enough basic medical information to prevent anyone making wrong or even dangerous decisions.”
Speaking at the Royal College of GPs annual conference in Harrogate on Saturday Mr Lansley said details on how the summary care record would be taken forward would be included in the government’s NHS information strategy, which he said would be published “within a week or two”.
Mr Lansley said: “If people don’t want this information shared we will make it easy for them to opt out.
“If they want to add to that information which is stored on the record, they can. It will be their choice. But it must always be based on their explicit consent.”