Just 752 patients out of the more than 1.2m who have a Summary Care Record have opted to view their SCR on HealthSpace.

The tiny number of patients accessing their record on NHS Connecting for Health’s portal, which was launched three years ago, is equivalent to less than 0.062% of patients with an SCR.

The future of HealthSpace has been in doubt since last summer when EHI Primary Care revealed that CfH had shelved plans for a massive expansion of its personal health record project.

At the time, the Department of Health wanted to see more evidence of the site’s value to patients before pushing ahead with what was thought to be an £80m business case for expansion.

Last week, a DH spokesperson told EHI Primary Care that by 17 March this year 2,257 patients had opened an Advanced Account, which enables access to their SCR. The accounts were launched in 2007.

“Of these accounts, 752 (33%) users have viewed their Summary Care Record,” the spokesperson added.

Patient information booklets sent out as part of the Public Information Programmes (PIPs) for the SCR inform patients that they will be able to view their record via HealthSpace.

However, it appears that not all primary care trusts are immediately offering patients access to their records via HealthSpace.

The DH spokesperson told EHI Primary Care that of 20 PCTs with a completed PIP only 11 (55%) were currently offering Advanced Accounts to patients. She said the other nine PCTs were planning to do so over the next year.

The process for activating an advanced account has long been seen as onerous, with patients required to present three forms of ID confirming their residency and their address which must be the same as the address held by their GP.

They are then issued with a log in card and receive an activation key through the post.

CfH has argued that the portal will only become more widely used if patients are able to use it for transactional services, such as viewing the results of tests and making GP appointments.

However, when Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched his vision for Digital Britain two weeks ago, he suggested patients would be able to take advantage of transactional services via the recently launched website MyGov. Although he specifically mentioned booking GP appointmetns, he made no mention of HealthSpace.

A DH spokesperson told EHI primary Care: “We are looking a number of ways to improve HealthSpace including the potential development of a secure, online registration process."