In October alone, more than nine million people viewed their health records through the NHS App
Thanks to the NHS primary care access recovery plan, more than 23 million people can now view test results and check their consultation notes online without needing to contact their GP practice.
NHS England on Monday (4 December) announced that over 81 GP practices in England (more than four in five) are now giving patients access to their new health records online through the NHS App.
In May, the NHS announced the primary care access recovery plan setting a target of 9 in 10 GP practices offering patients access to their records through the NHS App by March 2024.
By making access to healthcare easier and quicker, the NHSE also aims to free up to 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter.
One in four repeat prescriptions [2.7 million a month] are now made via the NHS App instead of people having to contact their GP, the NHS stated.
Vin Diwakar, National Director for Transformation at NHS England informed that more than nine million people viewed their health records through the NHS App on October alone.
While patients are able to manage their own heath better through the app, GP practices are seeing a reduction in telephone calls for things like test results.
“More than 4,500 practices across the country have given patients access to their future records,” Vin said while encouraging the remaining practices to implement the change.
He believes that boosting patient records access will “undoubtedly” bring improvements for both patients and staff.
Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said: “Patients want straightforward access to their medical records. Increasing the numbers who can see their health information via the NHS App is good news for patients.
“We hear from patients how helpful knowing test results or upcoming appointments is to them in taking care of themselves. And as more patients are able to use digital access to the records, it will reduce calls to general practice requesting information patients can now access themselves.”
The NHS noted that access to all future records is a legal right for people, and GPs are now required to give all patients aged 16 and over access to their new health record entries “unless patients say they do not, or no longer wish, to have online access to their records, or if exemptions apply.”
Patients can use the NHS App to look at test results and order repeat prescriptions, as well as access a summary of their treatment, medication, and care plan, saving them a lot of time and avoidable interactions with a GP.
To boost healthcare access for patients, the NHS is also supporting all GP practices to upgrade their telephone systems to avoid the “8am rush” for an appointment, with 8 in 10 practices now adopting the change, up from 5 in 10 last year.
You can find out how to downloaded the NHS App to your smartphone or tablet at https://nhs.uk/helpmeapp