[P]eople living in Cumbria are being urged to sign up to a service which will enable them to access GP appointments and repeat prescriptions online.
Patient Online has been running for 12 months. Once you have signed up it allows patients to make or cancel GP and nurse appointments, see some parts of their medical records and check for test results.
Sedbergh GP William Lumb says: “We know some of our patients would like to be able to access some of our services online. We appreciate that not everyone wants to ring up to make an appointment or can do this easily if they are at work.”
Dr Lumb, who is the IT lead at NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added: “By signing up to Patient Online it puts the patient in control of when and how they contact their GP surgery.”
The system is secure. New users have to fill in a short form at their GP Surgery and show photo ID. They will be given a unique username and password. No one else will be able to see their records unless the patient chooses to share that information, perhaps with a family member or carer.
Patients have been telling the NHS that they can now shop online and bank online and they would like to be able to access NHS systems such as this online. Superfast broadband has been rolled out to 88 percent of homes and businesses across the county as part of Connecting Cumbria giving wider access to a whole range of digital services.
Patient Online should also reduce the number of phone calls handled by receptionists and reduce the number of appointments for straightforward requests.
What can I do if I sign up?
- Book and cancel appointments with a nurse or GP
- Order repeat prescriptions
- Look at some of the information in your GP online record
- Look for test results online enabling you to better manage long term conditions
Dr Lumb added: “Patients can pick up their test results online and get in touch if they need to rather than phoning the surgery. It should mean that we are able to answer calls more efficiently. Patients with long term conditions are often the experts on their own health – and this enables them to access results and order repeat prescriptions online, putting them in the driving seat and making positive choices.”
More information can be found https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/pe/patient-online/about-the-prog/po-public/