NHS England announces 97% availability for key online services

Up to 97% of all NHS patients in England are able to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access a summary of their medical records online, according to NHS England.

Based on the latest figures, the number of practises offering these key services online has tripled since the start of the year and a huge increase since April last year where only 3% of GP surgeries offered online options.

The online services are being offered as an alternative rather than a replacement for existing phone or face-to-face methods.

Beverley Bryant, director of digital technology for NHS England said: “Many patients want the flexibility of booking services online so we are delighted that GPs have worked so hard to make this possible.

There is more to come as we develop services that will increasingly help patients take more control of their health.”

Dr Masood Nazir, GP and National Clinical Lead for NHS England’s Patient Online programme added: “Online services help to make patients’ lives easier and can reduce the paperwork for those in general practice. As GPs offer more online access we will continue to work closely with them to ensure they feel confident these services deliver real benefits for their patients.”

The government has targeted online availability for all patients’ medical records by 2018 and offering key services online is a “milestone… [for a] modern and dynamic healthcare system.”

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