A quarter of all patients registered in Leeds are now securely booking online appointments with their family doctor, saving time and money for themselves and their GP practice.
Patients who register for online services are not just able to book appointments but can order repeat prescriptions, view their patient record and see test results without visiting the surgery.
GPs whose practices have embraced online services are already seeing the benefits, with fewer patient calls and fewer people failing to attend – saving time that could be used in other areas.
Latest national figures show that 14m patients are now using GP online services, an increase of 42 per cent compared to the same time last year, and this is helping to ease pressure on GPs and their staff. Ten percent of those patients – 1.4m – are in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Registering for online services is simple and free. All patients need to do is take along a form of ID to their GP practice, complete and sign a registration form and are given a unique password and username to help them set up and start using online services straight away.
Dr Masood Nazir, National Clinical Lead for NHS England Patient Online programme, describes how online access for patients is supporting practices to improve their clinical care.
“There are many demands on GP practices, so encouraging patients to register for online services is not only helping reduce some of the pressure but it is empowering, enabling and motivating more patients to share the responsibility for their own health and wellbeing”, said Dr Nazir.
“We are seeing many examples of this particularly working well for patients with long term conditions who can use their GP record to become more knowledgeable and confident about their condition, treatment and care prior to attending an appointment with their doctor or nurse.”
Note to Editors
- The table below gives the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups covering Yorkshire and the Humber, showing that of more than 5.8 million patients registered with GP practices across the area, 4 million are signed up for GP online services – 24.3% of the patient population.
- NHS England’s Patient Online programme supports GP practices to offer and promote the following online services to patients:
- booking and cancelling appointments
- ordering repeat prescriptions
- viewing their GP record (which includes coded information about allergies, immunisations, diagnoses, medication and test results).
- Greater use of technology to enhance patient care and experience and reduce the administrative burden on GP practices is a key commitment of the General Practice Forward View (GPFV) launched by NHS England in April 2016. These figures show significant progress has been made on the ambition to support practices to reduce their workload and achieve a paper-free NHS by 2020.
- Online services are being offered in addition to the traditional telephone and face-to-face means of interacting with a GP practice. Patients can choose the route they prefer.
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