New features are being rolled-out for Patient Access, the online service that enables individuals to view their GP records via the internet.
By the end of October 2016 registered users will automatically be able to see all information about their interaction with their GP, with the exception of any GP notes and other correspondence. This means users will have access to details of their appointments, symptoms, diagnoses, medical treatment, medication and test results.
The new service will deliver all laboratory test results to Patient Access users at the same time as they are reviewed and actioned by their GP.
This means users will have details of results including blood tests and pathology findings without having to wait for the next GP appointment or contact from their doctor. Doctors will also have the ability to write a message which the patient can see, for example ‘these test results are fine’ to ensure patients can easily understand the information.
The new services are in addition to the current functions available through Patient Access. These allow users to do any of the following at any time of the day or night:
- View, book and cancel any routine GP appointments
- View and order repeat medications – and track whether they have been authorised
- View immunisations, prescribed medications and allergies
- Share their whole GP record with a clinician or relative for a 24 hour period.
Commenting on the new range of services now available through Patient Access, Annmarie Cubbon, Head of Primary Care Commissioned Services, said:
'This really is a superb leap forward for Patient Access and proves just how seriously we believe that patients should be given greater control and improved accessibility. These changes mean that not only will patients be able to book appointments and manage their own prescriptions, but they can review their complete GP record at any time they want.
'And for those who have ongoing laboratory tests, perhaps a diabetic who regularly attends a blood clinic, they will be able to monitor their own results without waiting for updates every time from their GP. That’s really putting patients in control.'
Richard Wild, Chief Information and Digital Officer, echoed her comments. He said:
'This is another example of Government’s Digital Strategy making a real difference in people’s lives. The whole strategy is built around the commitment to improving the quality of all Government digital services, and to making sure that they are easy, simple and swift to use. Patient Access marks another important step forward.'
At the same time as this upgrade to the service, there has been an agreement to make at least 50% of all appointments available online from all GP surgeries, up from the previously agreed figure of 25%. All appointments remain bookable through non-digital routes as well.