Proxy access to GP online services by care home staff: Guidance for care homes and GP practices


Patients have been able to use online services for booking appointments, ordering medication, and viewing information held in their GP patient record since 2005. This has helped to:

  • enhance the quality of care
  • increase choice and convenience for patients
  • establish ordering medication online in many GP practices
  • access clinical information any time, day or night.
Before any level of proxy access for care staff can be set up, the care home must have a secure email system and preferably the NHSmail system. Further information is available in another guide: Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT) and NHSmail guidance.

What this guide is for

This guide is intended to support best practice for Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care homes and GP practices to allow authorised care staff access to elements of online GP records on behalf of residents. This is called ‘proxy access’.

It has been produced by the NHSX Digital Primary Care team, based on the experiences of GP practices and care homes which have implemented proxy access by care staff for ordering medication online.

You can use the guide, and adapt the supporting documents and templates, to set up your own local process and procedures.

Where proxy access for medication ordering by care staff is already in place

If you have already set up authorised care staff to order medication on behalf of care home residents and now want to give access to additional information in GP records, you need to repeat some of the set-up steps, i.e.:

  • review and update the data sharing agreement (DSA) and data protection impact assessment (DPIA)
  • ensure patients/residents or their representatives have given informed consent to the additional access
  • amend set-up forms for authorised care staff as agreed between the GP practice and care home
  • make sure care staff have been briefed, trained, and have re-read the guidance for proxy users

Once this has been done, the GP practice can search and select the online user already set up in the system and add additional levels of access in the clinical system. Set-up guides for EMIS Web and TPP SystmOne are available.

View the next sections in this guide: