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NHS Patient Online

Accessing GPs online – what’s in it for us?

NHS Patient Online

There has been huge progress in recent months on the Patient Online agenda. This means GP access is now easier and more convenient for those using online services generally. At a fingertip we should now be able to do three things online:

  1. Book appointments
  2. Repeat prescriptions
  3. Access our GP records (currently summary information only- see GP record )

For example, you can book and cancel appointments any time of the day, order your repeat prescription from home or at work, save yourself a trip to the GP practice, or look up your medications online.

Online services do not replace traditional ways of contacting your GP practice, over the phone or in person. They simply offer additional ways to interact with GPs and free up phone lines for people with no internet access, and enable GP practices to manage appointments and telephone calls more efficiently.

The Patient Online agenda offers potential for a far greater power balance between disabled people and GPs / clinicians. From April 2016 all patients will be able to access their full GP electronic record and not just a summary. By 2018 this record will include information from all our health interactions across the system and by 2020 it will include interactions with social care as well. By then we will not just be able to read our medical record but write into it and add our own comments. The information we put in could relate to medication taken but also symptoms that we observe – passed on in no time this will foster greater communication and reduce misdiagnoses. One day there might even be wearable devices like Fitbits or Jawbones to hold our medical record and further up-to-date information and make it accessible in emergencies.

For more detailed information about the patient online services download the:

How do I register for a service?

If you wish to use the online services, you'll need to register first.

Registration for online services is separate from registration with a GP practice. GP online services are provided by different providers. This means the online interface may vary depending on which one your GP has chosen.

The four most commonly used systems are:

To register, you have to speak to your GP practice in person and request a registration letter, which will enable you to set up a full account. Enter the details from the letter into the online registration form. This registration method ensures your identity can be verified by your GP practice and your personal details cannot be accessed by others.

I'm not good with the internet – where can I get help?

There are a number of different services for people who need internet training such as UK online centres. Others are provided by local authorities, colleges and charities. The best place to start would be your local library. On this site simple tips and instructions have been created that can help you to become a more confident internet user, including how to keep yourself and others safe online.

Note: This information is taken from the NHS website and may be subject to change. For the most up to date content see the NHS Choices website. Keep up to date on twitter: #patientonline