Push for online GP services
The Government has promised that all patients in England will be able to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access test results online by 2015.
These are key pledges at the heart of the new NHS Information Strategy, unveiled today by the Department of Health (DoH).
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "By allowing people to access the NHS online, we will put an end to the 8 am rush to phone your GP to try to book an appointment."
The DoH acknowledged that many GP surgeries already offer online booking and communications with patients, but said that the plans will ensure widespread adoption of the technology.
"Reforms like this will take the hassle out of the health service. Giving people the option to order their repeat prescriptions online as well as their test results removes unnecessary stress and bureaucracy," said Mr Lansley.
The new Strategy is also committed to giving patients online access to their GP records.
However Julia Manning, Chief Executive of health think tank 2020 Health, cautioned that patients would need help to understand medical notes.
"It is going to take a lot for all of this to happen by 2015. I hope the Government will give surgeries all the support necessary to make this happen," she said.
GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012
By Caroline Price