The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law tomorrow but a survey of over 1,000 GPs has found that many are still not ready.

Research firm medeConnect 1,018 regionally representative GPs last month and found that nearly one in six (15 per cent) and one in 10 GP Principals had not even heard of GDPR.

A further quarter of GPs (24 per cent) had heard of the regulation but not much more than that and one in seven (14 per cent) had only heard of it in the media.

The survey also uncovered that fewer than half (47 per cent) of GPs had discussed GDPR within their practice or primary care organisation, although this was higher for GP Principals (62 per cent).

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Of the GPs who had discussed GDPR in their practice two-thirds (65 per cent) said that the practice manager would be responsible for GDPR implementation compared with a quarter (28 per cent) who said the burden would fall on themselves or another GP.

The GPs surveyed felt that the introduction of GDPR could cause a barrier to doing their job, and could put clinicians in difficult positions.

When asked what would be the main implications of GDPR (excluding GPs who didn't know), the top answers were more work/bureaucracy (26 per cent) and financial burden/extra cost/loss of earnings (17 per cent). 

Only 1 per cent of GPs indicated they believed the introduction of GDPR would be a positive development.