Patients at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) can now access a new online portal, providing patients with their Personal Health Record, designed to make it easier for them to view information relating to their care and interact with their healthcare professionals.

Patients Know Best (PKB) is providing the portal, which launched in January and is available on any internet-enabled tablet, smartphone or computer.

The trust has chosen PKB to provide a secure online space for patients to access hospital letters, appointment details and a library of health resources, to enable them to track and self-monitor their health and symptoms.

Patients using the portal can view their medical information, including emergency department, inpatient and outpatient visits; track and monitor symptoms and access resources specific to them, added by their healthcare team.

Service users have access to the portal 24 hours a day, whether at home or abroad; they can also use the portal to keep a health journal that helps them to remember important points to discuss with their clinician.

Commenting on the project, Dr Zia Din, deputy medical director and chief clinical information officer at UHNM, said: “Patients Know Best is designed to give patients and everyone involved in their care easy access to a more comprehensive health record. Over the coming months this will include the latest information on treatments and care plans.”

The portal also enables patients to share their up-to-date health record with health professionals, as well as with a family member or carer, so that they can be helped to manage their appointments, medications and symptom management.

All of these features and information are accessible once a patient has registered, via the PKB website or directly within the NHS App.

Anyone who has been a patient with the trust over the last two years will receive an invitation to register, either through the post, via email or by text and new patients will continue to be invited as they are referred to the trust.

Potential to improve efficiency

Heidi Poole, deputy director of IM&T and project lead, said: “This system will provide efficiencies in our clinical pathways, for example it has the potential to reduce missed appointments through the notification capability”.

UHNM joins over 20 Trusts, including their close neighbours University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, as well as many trusts across London, Sussex, Nottinghamshire, Humber and Cheshire already using PKB to support their patients with better digital access to information.

Sally Rennison, chief commercial officer at PKB, said: “UHNM’s vision for their digital patient strategy is ambitious and we are pleased to have taken the first steps with them on this journey, with increasing excitement for the future phases.”

Europe’s largest personal health record and the world’s first patient-controlled health records system, PKB now supports more than 20% of the UK population access their medical records safely and securely.