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One fifth of patients can access GP records

Just 21% of patients were able to access their GP record online in September, six months before providing online record access becomes a contractual requirement for all GP practices, NHS England figures show.

The latest update from NHS England’s Patient Online programme team, with figures from September, shows that 16% of practices still don’t have the IT capability to provide online access.

The figures show the number of patients with online record access has jumped, from 2% at the same time last year, as a result of its inclusion in the GP contract, but NHS England has said it will now work with practices who are not yet online to identify barriers to implementing the scheme.

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The update states: ‘NHS England’s Patient Online programme team has been working closely with practices across England to ensure they have the support they need to confidently offer these online services.’

It adds: ‘Focus will now turn to those practices who aren’t offering online services, finding out what the barriers are and what we can do to help them overcome them. Please contact us with any questions or feedback.’

At a WANdisco Big Data Breakfast event, attended by data analytics experts from the private and public sector in London today, NHS England’s national director for patients and information, Tim Kelsey said: ‘A big priority for me has been to give people access to their own medical records, and that starts digitally from this March.

‘So 2015, will be the first year that citizens in this country, and of any country in the world, will have comprehensive access to their GP records. It’s an opportunity, both for big data analytics, but much more fundamentally for people to get to grips with their own health, and care.’