North West London residents using GP online services are benefiting from faster access to health services and are saving time for GPs and their practices.
GP online services allow anyone registered with a GP practice in their local area to book and cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view their GP records, all without having to call the surgery.
• In North West London, over 25 per cent of our GP registered population are already making use of GP online services
• over 83,000 appointments were booked online between July and December 2017
• because patients used their GP Online accounts to book appointments rather than doing so in person or over the phone, GP practices have saved 1460 days which is over four years!
Kwesi Afful, Digital Innovation Lead for the NHS North West London Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “GP online is the first step in supporting our patients to embrace the use of digital apps to help manage their health and transform the way they access health services. The next step is to encourage patients to use their accounts more frequently and then to start introducing other ways to engage with and access GP services.”
Over the next year patients will be able to do even more, with developments already being made to allow patients to see information such as their immunisation records and test results.
Bipin Dittani, a local Harrow GP and resident said: “Many patients find getting an appointment with their GP a frustrating process; having to call at certain times, sitting in queues and sometimes not getting through at all. I’m a big supporter of GP online services and feel so strongly about people having better involvement in their health. Those using the services, myself included, find it a brilliant system. Most of us manage our lives online, so why not manage our health online too? My big mission at the moment is to encourage other local residents to sign up to GP online services. Why not give it a go? It’s really simple to use and makes managing your health care so much easier.”
All GP practices in North West London have signed up to provide services online. The registration process is simple; patients just need to go into their GP practice with photo identification (i.e. passport of driving licence) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill) to receive a username and password. Once they have been given login details they can access the service via a computer or on their phone by downloading the app. More details on how to register can be found on NHS Choices.