For information on the new National Data Opt-out, introduced on 25th May 2018, and how it affects your existing consent choices, please see ‘Your Choices‘.
Patient Online services via your GP
The NHS offers a number of digital services, which are available to you online via your GP practice website.
If you don’t currently have a username and password to login to these GP online services, you can follow this NHS England guidance to get them. You shouldn’t need to talk to your Doctor to get a username and password, just the receptionist in your practice. All you’ll need to do is fill in a short form, and provide some proof of identity. For more details, the Good Things Foundation have a simple explanation.
One advantage of being able to use these digital services is that your surgery may offer same-day appointments online before the phone service opens in the morning – so you won’t have to wait on hold in a telephone queue. You can also order repeat prescriptions, and request access to your referral letters. For more information about your GP record, including what is in it and how it may be used, NHS England has published a leaflet.
In future, more services across the NHS should be available to you digitally – without you having to remember a lot of different usernames and passwords, and without each digital service knowing which other services you use (unless you tell them).
Most GP practice systems are now able to tell you which particular services and organisations have accessed your GP record. This “record audit” or “shared record history” function should become available more generally over time. If your GP practice does not yet offer this as one of its online services, you can still ask to be shown the information.
IMPORTANT: the form your GP practice will ask you to fill in may vary across practices, but it will be the form that is described in NHS England’s guidance.
UPDATE July 2018: Some practices are now offering a choice of websites and apps you can use to access online services – including commercial offerings such as Evergreen Life, alongside more standard ones offered by the GP IT providers themselves, such as SystmOnline (TPP), Patient Services (INPS) and The Waiting Room (Microtest). It’s not quite clear what’s going on with EMIS and Patient Access, an independent(?) EMIS “subsidiary”.