The number of GPs offering appointments, repeat prescriptions and access to summary information in medical records online has tripled in the first three months of the year with almost every GP surgery in England offering the service.
Data published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows that over 97% of patients in England can now take advantage of online services, a huge increase from the 3% in April 2014.
Patients will still be able to contact their GP practice by phone or in person but will also have the option to do it online. To use the services NHS England is encouraging patients to ask their GP surgery to set-up their online access next time they visit.
Beverley Bryant, Director of Digital Technology for NHS England said: “Many patients want the flexibility of booking services online so we are delighted that GPs have worked so hard to make this possible. There is more to come as we develop services that will increasingly help patients take more control of their health.”
Dr Masood Nazir, GP and National Clinical Lead for NHS England’s Patient Online programme added: “Online services help to make patients’ lives easier and can reduce the paperwork for those in general practice. As GPs offer more online access we will continue to work closely with them to ensure they feel confident these services deliver real benefits for their patients.”
The NHS is committed to modernising its services so that they are as efficient and effective as possible and put patients in the driving seat of their care.
The ambition is that by 2018 every citizen will be able to access their full health records at the click of a button, detailing every visit to the GP and hospital, every prescription, test results, and adverse reactions and allergies.
Offering people the chance to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access summary information held in their GP records online is a key milestone on the road towards becoming a truly modern and dynamic healthcare system which is responsive to what patients want.