What does Patient Online mean for GP practices?

Today, the majority of GP practices already offer online services, including appointment booking, ordering of repeat prescription, and access to summary information in records.

GP practices will increasingly expand online services over the next year.

Online services will be offered in addition to the traditional telephone and face-to-face means of interacting with a GP practice. Patients will be able to choose the route they prefer.

General Medical Services (GMS) and Personal Medical Services (PMS) regulations for 2015/16 include the requirement for GP practices to offer to patients who request it online access to their detailed coded records.  i.e. information, held in coded form, where requested by the patient and where GPSoC approved systems are available. In addition, this is subject to appropriate safeguards which are summarised in the British Medical Association’s (BMA) guidance and more detail is available in the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guide.

Image showing examples of categories of information that patients may see. Demographics, Immunisations procedure codes, allergies/adverse reactions, results, code showing referral made of letters, medication, values, problems/diagnoses and other codesImage showing examples of categories of items that are not required to be diplayed; Free text, Letters and attachments, Administrative items.

If practices are not yet offering this service, they need to display a “statement of intent” to inform patients that their GP practice intends to meet the contractual requirements, as soon as their computer systems are ready and by the 31 of March 2016 the latest.

The Patient Online team has created an example Statement of Intent to help you do this. You can tailor this statement with your GP practice’s information and publish it on your practice’s website and in the surgery.

For further guidance, the Patient Online team has developed the following three documents: