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NHS Alliance welcomes government's commitment to accessible medical record to all patients

NHS Alliance

The NHS Alliance has welcomed the Future Forum report which recommends that patients should have access to their health records online and the government's commitment to make primary care records accessible from 2015.

Posted: 1 January 2012

The Alliance believes making health records accessible is a strong foundation for shared decision-making between patients and their clinicians, which is crucial for a patient-centred NHS.

Dr Brian Fisher, Patient and Public Involvement lead for the NHS Alliance, said: “In the same way that you can only look after your finances by having full access to your bank account, we believe that you can only look after your health well if you have access to your health information.”

Free secure online access to GP electronic records is available to 60% of GP practices in the UK. This process is not related to the government’s Connecting for Health programme as patients’ records are stored in current GP practices systems.

Accessible patients’ records

-  There is a range of systems which allow patients to access their records

-  Record access is linked to booking appointments and prescriptions online as well as other medical services

-  There is solid evidence that record sharing is safe and benefits patients and practices in the following ways:

1.  It improves relationships between practices and patients;

2.  Patients have control of how their records are used – no-one can information without the patient’s permission;

3.  It improves the accuracy of the record,

4.  It improves patients’ self-care, compliance and understanding of their health;

5.  It enables more integration across the NHS because the patient can share data with whom they want, i.e. consultants, family, A&E.