Over 55 million patients in England can now book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access summary information in their medical record online – according to latest figures

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.


  1. Corin Jones says:

    I find these figures very hard to believe but when I re-read the article I realise it says that HCSIC data shows patients ‘can take advantage of’ online services’ NOT are aware of or do. We belong to a forward looking practice with electronic access to prescription ordering but still need to phone for appointments and are not aware of access to summary record information. Whereas I have family members living in Cambs who can’t even get GP appointments (by phone) within 3/4 weeks. The survey needs to be redone using an organisation such as the Patients Assoc. I feel that putting out press releases or statements which mislead the patient/press leads to loss of faith and credibility.

  2. Sherry Reynolds @cascadia says:

    Using your own data from HSCIC although there are 56 million patients “registered” who could potentially use online access in fact it is only potentially enabled for 5.2% and in fact only .1% or 79,453 (c) have it enabled for their use (vs potential)

    Registered Patients 56,949,752
    Potential patients that could be enabled for use 2,958,210
    % Potential patients that could be enabled for use 5.2%

    Not Enabled 46,117,229
    % Not Enabled 81.0%

    No Functionality 7,718,482
    % No Functionality 13.6

    Not Known 155,831
    % Not Known 0.3%

    No CCG Mapping 0

    • NHS England says:

      Dear Sherry,
      Thank you for your comment.

      The 0.1% figure you quote is the percentage of patients who currently access their full GP record online.

      At the moment, our commitment to patients is to provide them with online access to summary information held in their GP records along with the option to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions and we’re delighted that 97% of practices now offer these services.

      Over the coming year we will be working closely with GP practices across the country to encourage patients to set-up their online access and start using these services that will help to make their lives more convenient.

      Kind regards,
      NHS England