Patients in north Cumbria are being encouraged to use online services which offer more choice, support and control in accessing their GP Services.
Patients can sign up to a free GP Online Service which offers a quick, easy and secure service offering more convenience and support to improve their overall experience.
Currently 23% of the population are enabled for Online GP Services in North Cumbria, with 9,532 appointments booked online in July and 21,214 prescriptions ordered online in July. The online service is available to all adults who are registered with a GP.
The exact functions and services available to patients depends on the online services which their specific GP practice uses, however practices will advise patients on the functions which will be available to them during the sign up process.
The online services do not take away any traditional services for patients who still prefer to visit or ring their surgery. It does however offer an alternative method that some might find more convenient.
This is one of the ways that primary care is changing. Locally the North Cumbria General Practice Provider Collaborative is supporting practices to deliver innovative ways of working that help meet the increasing demands and work force challenges across north Cumbria.
Patients will need to register for these online services and depending on their practice they will be able to use a website or an app to potentially:
- book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse
- order repeat prescriptions online
- view parts of your GP record, including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results
- view clinical correspondence such as hospital discharge summaries, outpatient appointment letters and referral letters
There are many different GP Online Service apps available and patients can discuss the options with their practice to see what will work best for them.
If people are feeling unwell and require health advice and guidance for non-threatening emergencies they are advised to call NHS 111 who will provide assessment, advice and direct to the most appropriate medical treatment. Pharmacies can also help with minor injury or illness offering essential health advice.
NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s Primary Care Development Lead Fiona Chatten said: “You can register for GP online services at your surgery and it’s great that this technology offers patients more choice as to how they interact with their practice.
“The development of these online services also provides more control, allowing patients to be more informed and involved in decisions about their own health, care and treatment.
“We have seen more people in north Cumbria signing up to these services and so far we have received positive feedback to this more flexible way of accessing their GP services and it has improved their patient experience.”
Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council Peter Thornton said: “This is a very welcome development for those of us who are used to accessing most other services online. It makes things more convenient for customers whilst also saving time and reducing the pressure on busy GP practices.
“This really is a great innovation and I hope many people will take advantage of it.”
How do I start using GP online services?
Follow these steps to access GP online services:
1. Take photo ID (passport or driving licence) and proof of address (such as a utility bill) to your GP practice and tell them you want to start using their online services.
If you do not have any ID then either a member of staff will have to confirm your identity or you may have to answer questions about personal information in your GP record.
2. Fill in the short registration form that you are given by your practice.
3. Once you have signed up, you will receive a letter with your unique username, password and instructions on how to log in.
Your practice may offer you a choice of websites and apps you can use to access online services to determine the best one for your needs, including:
- Patient Access
- Evergreen Life/i-Patient
- Engage Consult
- Patient Services
- The Waiting Room
- Various other apps are available on android and apple devices
Further GP Online Services information is available at: www.nhs.uk/GPonlineservices