Tuesday 13 November 2012

It’s all power to the patient - Online access to GP, prescriptions and test results

PATIENTS will be able to order prescriptions, book GP appointments and even see crucial test results on the internet under an online revolution.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will today pledge the major developments will be delivered within three years — by the next General Election in 2015.

Making NHS services more accessible will tackle one of the biggest complaints today — the difficulty in getting an appointment with GPs.

Ministers insist it will also spell an end to stressful delays getting information via the post, while saving millions in admin costs.

Some surgeries already offer the online services but Mr Hunt, wants ALL patients to have such access by 2015.

Under his plans there will also be a major transparency push via the internet.

Local areas will have to regularly publish results on how well they have treated the five biggest killers — cancer, stroke, and heart, liver and respiratory diseases. Patients will only have to tap in their postcodes to see how well hospitals do, in a bid to copy the police’s popular street-by-street crime websites.

A senior Government source said: “Many people are juggling longer working hours with caring for children and older relatives.

“Looking after their own health and the health of their families needs to be as straightforward as possible.

“In an age where people can do their banking or shopping online, it should be just as simple to order a repeat prescription or book a GP appointment.”

Mr Hunt will unveil the plan as he hands over the first mandate for the NHS today — a system of contracts in which the Government lays out its expectations for patients for the next year.

But he will not order any new Whitehall centralised database for the online push.

Instead, individual GPs’ surgeries will be responsible for how they do it.

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