Patient Online or GP Online as it’s sometimes called now, enables anyone registered with the NHS as a patient to book or cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions from their general practice, or look at the content of their own medical records. You can access Patient Online by your smartphone, tablet or laptop from anywhere with an internet connection, via an app or desktop website.
So long as they have full access to Patient Online a person can look at their own medical records to see past consultations with a doctor or nurse, recent letters from a hospital consultant or other practitioners, and recent test results. They can see other relevant personal medical information, such as what allergies are listed or the medications that are currently prescribed for them.
This means that they can come along better prepared for a consultation with a doctor or nurse and be empowered to take more control of their healthcare. If you’d normally go back to see a doctor or nurse after you’ve had a blood test, you can look at the results yourself a day after having it done and if it is normal, there’d be no need to make another appointment with the practice team- if that’s what you’d agreed at your initial consultation.
Practices operate Patient Online differently. Many help patients to register to be able to order repeat prescriptions and book or cancel appointments with support from a receptionist; but some block access to records and test results as they don’t believe that this will help patients without a doctor or nurse present to talk through the content of those records.
Learn more about the Patient Online service and ways it can benefit you or a family member at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/patient-online/support/patient-material/
Q1. How do I sign up to Patient Online?
A.You’ll need to fill in a short form that the receptionist at your surgery can give you. Then you’ll need to prove that you are who you say you are. That might be by showing your passport or driving licence and a bank statement or council tax statement. If you do not have this kind of ID then the practice can find an alternative reliable way to confirm your identity. You’ll then get a user name and password that you use when you go to the website where you can log in and start using Patient Online services.
Q2. Is there an age limit for using Patient Online – my mother’s aged 76 years old and has lots of health problems. Will it be any use for her?
- Whilst some patients lack capacity to perform online transactions they are in the minority. More than three-quarters of over 65 year olds use the internet to pay their bills or shop online, so why should accessing healthcare be different? If it is difficult for her, you could do it alongside her with her permission, and that might make both your lives easier if you’re involved in helping her get to appointments and sort her prescriptions out.