Patients will be able to contribute to their own medical record and switch GP practice online, NHS England’s director of patients and information Tim Kelsey has said.
Kelsey’s ‘patient and public voice’ report to NHS England’s board this week describes the vision to “unleash the power of people to manage their own conditions."
NHS England will do this by “providing them with applications that allow them to monitor their lifestyles, for example activity and diet – but with the added ability to view, merge and enhance their full NHS medical record with the information they are recording about themselves,” the report says.
As well as contributing to their own medical records, people will be able to transact directly with the NHS online.
This will involve “technologies that allow them to book and rearrange appointments, order repeat prescriptions, track the progress of test results, contact their GP or hospital electronically with a query, provide electronic feedback and even switch GP provider."
The report says there will be safeguards in place, including that the patient’s doctor or carer also has access to this information and can “intervene and support as required."
Under the new GP contract which comes into force on 1 April, GPs must provide online transactional services to patients, such as booking appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions.
They must also allow patients to access information held in their Summary Care Record online by March 2015.
This is the first step towards giving patients access to their GP record online. The report says work is underway to define in detail what the ‘GP record’ will constitute.
“For example how much historical data is meaningful and whether there is a time delay to allow a GP to ‘manage’ how the impact of certain test results are communicated,” the report says.
“In order to achieve the vision that patients and clinicians will have access to a full medical record, greater strides must also be made in the achievement of safe, digital record keeping in secondary care, as a precursor to integration of those records with the GP record,” the report adds.