From 1 November 2022, most patients aged 16 and over with online accounts (such as through the NHS App or other patient online apps) will automatically be able to view new entries in their clinical record, including details of medications, test results and records of appointments they have had with any clinician entering information to the clinical system.
This is an NHS England programme supported by NHS Digital. The change supports the NHS Long-Term Plan commitments to provide patients with digital access to their health records.
Research shows that increasing numbers of patients want easy access to health information about them, including 80% of the 28 million NHS App users. Better access supports patients as partners in managing their health, and can help reduce queries to general practice such as on negative test results and referral letters.
Why these changes are being made
Better access to health information enables patients to become partners in managing their health.
Evidence demonstrates that access to records:
- increases patients’ feelings of autonomy, understanding of their health and ability to self-care.
- supports patients to prepare for appointments by acting as a written reminder or record of previous interactions
- reduces the need for patients to contact general practice to get test results and referral notifications
- increase data quality within patient record by enabling patients to flag if they think there are inaccuracies in their record
- positively impacts on clinical indicators such as glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in diabetic patients.
Automatic sharing of this information will reduce the burden on GPs long term, where they are currently required to manually share this information upon individual patient requests: the number of people who would like visibility of their records vastly outweighs the number of people who require limited/restricted access to their records.
Supporting a patient-centric approach to health and care, better access to records helps people to better understand and manage their health, leading to better health outcomes and improved patient and staff satisfaction.
The change supports existing GP contract obligation to provide individuals with access to their future, or prospective, health information entered after this change is made, unless exceptional circumstances apply (such as safeguarding concerns).
- Getting started with GP online services – GPGGS
- Giving another person access to your GP online services – GPGGAA
- Giving employed carers access to your GP online services – GPGEC
- GP online services for carers including young carers – GPGCYC
- Protecting your GP online records – GPGPR
- What you need to know about your GP online records – GPGNTK
- Young people’s access to GP online services – GPGYP
- Your GP record – GPGYGR
Easy read patient guides
- GP online services – quick, easy and safe (A5 leaflet)
- GP online services
- What you need to know about your GP record online
- Protecting your GP online record
- GP online services for carers, including young carers
- How to support people with a learning disabilities – a guide for GP surgery staff
- Giving employed carers access to your GP online services
- Giving another person access to your GP online services
- Young people’s access to GP online services