A record number of patients have signed up for remote access to their healthcare records in Birmingham.

The number of patients enrolled in the electronic service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) has reached 20,000.

The myhealth@QEHB portal, which was rolled out in 2012, allows patients with long-term conditions to remotely access some of their clinical information, including letters, appointments and laboratory results.

Patients can also upload personal information to the portal, allowing clinicians to instantly see updates and respond before emergency care is needed.

Dr James Ferguson, clinical lead for the portal, said: “Opening up clinical information empowers patients and transforms the doctor-patient relationship from a paternalistic one to a partnership.

“Once in place the patient portal also allows innovative ways of working such as video clinics and remote monitoring.”

The services is particularly useful for patients who live outside of Birmingham and the West Midlands as it allows them to take an active role in their healthcare.

Anne Bingham-Jones, a transplant patient from Cheshire, regularly uses the portal after she was referred to QEHB.

“Having access to my results, scans and correspondence through myhealth@QEHB has made a huge difference to maintaining my relationship with my consultant and my overall health. I’d tell anyone to use it,” she said.

“As a patient who lives out of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s local area, the system has really helped to improve my quality of life.

“Prior to signing up, I had to make a round trip from Cheshire to Birmingham every three months, though at one time I was requiring weekly appointments.

“Not only was this draining, it took a whole day each time.  Now I have a direct line of communication with the hospital without having to be there in person. I’m delighted with it.”

The portal was launched after a successful pilot with liver patients in 2012.

In it’s first year it gained 2,400 users.

An existing online facility known as myday@QEHB, which allowed patients and clinicians to record the events during a patient’s stay at the hospital, was incorporated into the portal.

A survey conducted by the Trust in 2014 found more than 77 per cent of patients using the portal at the time found it made them feel more prepared for hospital visits, and 87 per cent found the lab results page most useful.