News

Make a resolution for a healthier new year

A huge, Happy New Year from everyone at the Patient Online team!

Will you make a New Years’ Resolution that could make you healthier and save the NHS money in 2017?

We want to tell you about GP online services. 97% of GP practices now offer the opportunity for you to confidently manage your own health by allowing you to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and even access your GP record online using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Nine million patients are already signed-up for GP online services, every month they are ordering over a million prescriptions and booking 1.2million appointments.

The benefits to GP practices and the NHS are significant. The ‘Did Not Attend’ rate for appointments booked online is 30% lower, and online ordering of prescriptions is safer, saving time for the practice and is more convenient for patients.

We are now aiming to reach ten million patients signed up to GP online services, and are asking our colleagues to sign up for them too. By making this your New Years’ Resolution, you could be helping us to do this.

To sign up you will need to visit your GP practice with two forms of ID. You can get more details about GP online services and how to sign up at www.nhs.uk/gponlineservices

Yes! I pledge to make my New Years’ Resolution to sign up for GP online services!

If you have provided your email address we will let you know how the campaign is going. You will be able to unsubscribe from this at any point using the link in our emails.

Patient Online programme nominated for HSJ Award

The Patient Online programme was nominated for an HSJ Award in the category ‘Using technology to improve efficiency’. The awards were issued on November 23 at the O2 Arena in London. The jury praised the high quality of entries this year and said they had a tough job scoring. Members of the programme attended the event and took this finalist certificate home.

How GP online services have enabled Hugh, who is registered blind

October 13 is World Sight Day. Over 2 million people live with sight loss in the UK, of these 360,000 are registered blind or partially sighted. Hugh is one of them.  He signed up for GP online services and can now book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access his GP record via a talking laptop or smartphone. “I no longer have to ask people to read things to me, but can find it out myself. I would recommend it to anybody like me, because it enables you to access information that you can’t access through other means.” Watch his story.

Two new Patient Online toolkits for GP practices and for CCGs and NHS trusts

The Patient Online programme has just released two new toolkits to support GP practices, CCGs and NHS Trusts with the effective promotion of online services to patients: ordering of repeat prescriptions, booking of appointments and viewing of GP records.  The toolkits consist of templates for web copy, press releases, social media and newsletters as well as instructions on how to order the new range of promotional materials. These materials have been tested with patients across the country and now say “GP online services” instead of “Patient Online”, as a survey revealed patients related to this better.

Over 95% of GP practices now offer online detailed record access.

Figures released by HSCIC on June 23 show that over 95% of GP practices with the software functionality enabled, are now set up to offer online access to detailed GP records. This includes test results and diagnoses as well as referrals, immunisations, procedures and medications history. Figures are up from just 3% of practices in January this year. This latest step is part of a raft of Patient Online services, which are designed to make their lives easier and more convenient including online appointment booking and ordering of repeat prescriptions. Find out more in the press release.

Guide to help Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and their GP practice work effectively

The National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P.), in conjunction with the NHS England programme Patient Online, is launching its latest guide to help Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and their GP practice work effectively together.

Making online GP services work well for patients complements N.A.P.P.’s Building better participation guide. It will help PPGs discuss online GP services with their practice and consider ways in which to support the uptake of online services.
The guide was launched at N.A.P.P’s annual conference on 11 June in Stretton, Cheshire and is now also available on N.A.P.P’s website.

GMS/PMS regulations 2015/16 requirements

The GMS/PMS regulations 2015/16 require GP practices to offer online access to detailed coded information in GP records, where requested by the patient and where GPSoC approved systems are available, by 31 March 2016. The EMIS and TPP (SystmOne) systems are already approved for use and INPS and Microtest plan to have systems available in February 2016. The letter provides information to GP practices about how to access support and is intended for distribution to all GP practices via Heads of Primary Care e-mail distribution lists by 12th February. Contact Name and email address for any queries: england.patient-online@nhs.net

Patient Online: Webinars on offering detailed coded record access for EMIS, INPS and TPP users

Publications Gateway Ref No: 04676

By the 31st of March 2016, patients in England can request access to detailed coded information in their GP records. This is part of the GMS/PMS regulations for 2015-16. To find out more about how to configure your clinical system, please join one of the webinars hosted by the North of England Commissioning Support (NEC CSU), Arden & GEM CSU (AGEM) and the NHS England Patient Online team. There are several dates available up to the end of March and all webinars will take up to 60 minutes. Find out more about the webinar dates for your system supplier.

Patient Online programme updates

The Patient Online programme has updated their interactive Support and Resources Guide to help GP practices implement their GMS/PMS regulations for 2015-16. These include online booking of appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and by the 31st of March 2016, access to detailed coded information held in patients’ records. The guide includes updated guidance and practical tools for practices, links to RCGP guides, materials for patients, FAQs, case studies as well as regional and local support arrangements. It also offers clarification of pertinent issues such as proxy access and coercion.

Example ‘Statement of Intent’ for GP practices

The Patient Online programme has developed an example ‘Statement of Intent’ for GP practices, to inform their patients that they intend to meet the Patient Online requirements in the GMS/PMS regulations for 2015/16. These state that by the 31 of March 2016, GP practices should offer to those who request it, the facility to access detailed coded information in their own records online.

At the moment, the vast majority of GP practices are already offering online services to their patients: booking and cancelling of appointments, ordering of repeat prescriptions and viewing of summary information in their records about medication and allergies. Practices will increasingly expand online services over the next year. By the 31 of March 2016, online patient records should also include coded information on illnesses, immunisations and test results. This is part of the GMS/PMS regulations for 2015/16 and your computer systems are currently being adapted to support this.

If practices are not already offering online detailed records access they will 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 display it in your practice and on your practice website.

Patient Online is an NHS England programme designed to support GP practices to offer and promote online services to patients. The Patient Online team is working closely together with the Royal College of GPs to develop guidance and resources to provide GP practices with the information they need to get their patients online and fulfil the GMS and PMS 2015/16 contract. You can find all the information on our website or contact england.patient-online@nhs.net.

Promoting Patient Online services to students during fresher’s week

Today, the majority of GP practices offer Patient Online services (online appointment booking, ordering of repeat prescription and access to summary information in GP records).

During 2014/15 the Patient Online programme focused on communicating with GP practices so that they felt comfortable to offer Patient Online services. This activity centred on ensuring that by 31 March 2015 practices in England had enabled the functionality to offer Patient Online services to their patients and we are pleased to say that over 97% of practices in England are now offering these services.

This year we are increasing our work with the public; encouraging patients to start using Patient Online’s transactional services (online appointments and prescriptions). This work will kick-off with a number of events targeting students during fresher’s week. The message to those students will be to register for online services next time they visit their GP practice or when they register as a new patient.

To support our promotional work, Patient Online has a new page on NHS Choices. The page will be a one-stop shop for patients wishing to find out more about Patient Online. Please feel free to signpost your patients to this webpage if you feel it would be helpful. For additional information for practices, visit www.england.nhs.uk/patient-online.

Research is underway to provide us with a greater understanding of what motivates the public to register for GP practice online services  and what may be preventing them from doing so.

The approach of the patient promotion activity has yet to be decided (and will in part be determined by this research).  The initial thinking is the production of a digital campaign focusing on existing online users allowing a better understanding of the motivators and barriers that exist around registering for online GP services.

We would welcome your thoughts on this subject. Please email england.patient-online@nhs.net.

Increasing number of patients in England can now access GP services online

The Patient Online team continues to see an encouraging increase in the number of GP practices offering online repeat prescriptions, appointments and access to medical records.

At the end of December 2014, 34% of patients in England could access summary information in their medical record online, up 13% since from September last year.

The percentage of patients in England able to manage appointments and order repeat prescriptions online has also risen from 91% and 88% to 92% and 89% respectively.

By 31 March 2015, GP practices in England are required to offer and promote online services to patients, including access to summary information in their medical record (medications, allergies and adverse reactions) online, in addition to offering online appointments booking and prescriptions ordering.

NHS England’s Patient Online programme, established to support GP practices to confidently provide these online services, has been working to support practices to benefit from these changes and as well delivering benefits to patients. As the programme moves forward, it will continue to support GP practices to offer more comprehensive online services and will work to raise awareness amongst patients of how increased access to information can help them to have greater control of their health and wellbeing.

For further information please contact us.

August 2014: Patient Online Accelerator Sites, digital clinical champions and the Patient Online Community

Patient Online is an NHS England programme designed to support GP practices to offer and promote online services to patients, including access to records, online appointment booking and online repeat prescriptions (as outlined in the 2014/15 General Medical Services and Personal Medical Services contracts).

Patients have been telling us that they want more convenience, choice and control in how they access GP services. Increasingly, they also want to be informed and involved in decisions about their own care and treatment.

Evidence shows that patients who are informed and involved in their own care have better outcomes and are less likely to be hospitalised.

To help this happen, we will support GP practices across England to take advantage of the systems available to them through the GP Systems of Choice framework, enabling them to offer online services to their patients.

Patient Online Accelerator Sites

We are continuing to work with the 26 Patient Online Accelerator Sites creating a national network through which we can share best practice and work through challenges together

We are delighted to announce that two of our accelerator sites, the Whitechapel Health Centre and Sternhall Lane Surgery in Peckham are now providing all Patient Online services, including online access to records for their patients. Both practices have demonstrated huge commitment to embracing technology as part of their drive to offer modern, convenient and responsive services to their patients.

Digital clinical champions

September will see the programme move into its national implementation phase, supported by the appointment of 10 digital clinical champions (DCCs). The DCCs are doctors and nurses from across the NHS who all have experience of Patient Online services. They will cover specific geographical areas, focusing on engagement with GP practices in their area. DCCs are beginning to develop relationships with area teams and CCGs. This is also supported by discussions with the regions about focused local promotion and support.

Patient Online Community

The Patient Online Community is our programme’s online hub, a private and secure online environment that allows us to communicate, collaborate and share information with our stakeholders in real-time. It will allow members to:

  • Find answers faster – easily contact our programme team or other members to find answers to questions and access resources.
  • Crowdsource ideas from anyone in the community – we might be able to find inspiration from community members and vice-versa!
  • Stay informed – follow our progress and understand how the programme can offer support.

Please email england.patient-online@nhs.net if you would like to join.

Patients Working Together group

Finally, July saw the first meeting of our Patients Working Together group. The group, made up of patients and patient representatives, will support Patient Online to adopt a patient-centric approach at every stage of implementation and proactively include the public at each stage of planning, design and implementation.

Get in touch with the team

If you have any questions about Patient Online or would like further information please get in touch with the Patient Online team.

May 2014: Patient Online Accelerator Sites, digital clinical champions and Patients and Information Open House

Patient Online is an NHS England programme designed to support GP practices to offer and promote online services to patients, including access to records, online appointment booking and online repeat prescriptions (as outlined in the 2014/15 General Medical Services contract).

Patients have been telling us that they want to be offered more convenience, choice and control in how they access GP services. Increasingly, they also want to be informed and involved in decisions about their own care and treatment.

Evidence shows that patients who are informed and involved in their own care have better outcomes and are less likely to be hospitalised.

To help this happen, we will support GP practices across England to take advantage of the systems available to them through the GP Systems of Choice framework, enabling them to offer online services to their patients.

We will promote this work through a network of Patient Online Accelerator Sites. Accelerator sites are GP practices or CCGs that are at different stages of offering Patient Online services. By bringing these sites together, we hope to create a national network through which we can share best practice and work through challenges together. Eight accelerator sites have been confirmed and we hope to announce a further 18 sites within the next month. A full list of sites will be published shortly.

In addition to this, there will be ten Digital Clinical Champions (DCCs) and six of them have already been appointed. The DCCs are doctors and nurses from across the NHS who all have experience of patient online services. They will cover specific geographical areas, focusing on engagement with GP practices in their area and supporting the Patient Online Accelerator Sites.

Patient Online will also feature as part of the Patients and Information Open House series of regional events. More information available on the NHS England openhouse webcast website.

If you have any questions about Patient Online or would like further information please get in touch with the Patient Online team.

March 2014: General Medical Services (GMS) contract

The GMS contract in England for 2014/15 includes the requirement for GP practices to enable patients to access their own records, book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online.

Guidance and audit requirements to the contract can be found on the NHS Employers website.

Patient Online is an NHS England programme designed to support GP practices to confidently offer these online services to their patients, increasing choice and convenience for patients and responding to their needs.

We would like to hear about your experiences to date and listen to your views. Please get in touch: england.patient-online@nhs.net.