Patient Access to Online Services

What Are Online Services?

If you wish to, you can now use the internet to book appointments with a GP, request repeat prescriptions for any medications you take regularly and look at certain elements of your medical record online.

Before you can begin using these Online Services, we require you to register and consent to use the system. You can also still use the telephone or call into the surgery to access services as well.

How do I access online services?

To be able to use the system you must first register to do so with the practice. You will then need a device with a web browser such Internet Explorer (version 6 or later) and have a connection to the internet. You should be happy that you understand what the system does, what your responsibilities are and how your data is stored before you consent to get your access detail.

When you have had enough time to understand this, you should confirm verbally to the receptionist / dispenser along with providing them with a form of photo ID such as a valid passport or drivers licence. A copy may be scanned onto your records for security purposes. You will then be issued with a username and password that will allow you to access the system from any device with an internet connection. You must ensure that these details are kept safe and secure and not shared with anyone else. You will be asked to change the password allocated to you, so you will need to think of a password which is unique to you. This will ensure that only you are able to access your record – unless you choose to share your details with a family member or carer.

It will be your responsibility to keep your login details and password safe and secure. If you know or suspect that your record has been accessed by someone that you have not agreed should see it, then you should change your password immediately. If you cannot do this for some reason, we recommend that you contact the practice so that they can remove online access until you are able to reset your password.

If you print out any information from your record, it is also your responsibility to keep this secure. If you are at all worried about keeping printed copies safe, we recommend that you do not make copies at all. The online services can be accessed here.

What do I do if there is a problem with my medical information?

If you find any errors, missing information, or if there is anything in your medical record that you do not understand, please write to the practice highlighting your areas of concern. These will be considered by your GP who will either invite you to book an appointment to discuss your concerns, or they will amend your record as appropriate.

Can I have access on behalf of my children?

Parental access may be provided for children up to the age of 14. Patients aged 14 or over are entitled to independent access and will be required to consent themselves. At this stage they can choose to consent to continued parental access or to manage their own access. Young people (including those under 16) are entitled to equal confidentiality as all other patients. This includes respecting their wishes to withhold information from parents or guardians. The GP involved will determine the competency of a young person seeking treatment and will determine the extent to which confidentiality guidelines apply in each case.

I care for someone, can I have access on their behalf?

Access to another patient’s records may be granted if they have signed a consent form. A clinician may be required to ensure that the patient is competent to provide such consent.

Before you apply for online access to your record, there are some other things to consider. Although the chances of any of these things happening are very small, you will be asked that you have read and understood the following before you are given login details.

Forgotten history

There may be something you have forgotten about in your record that you might find upsetting.

Abnormal results or bad news

If your GP has given you access to test results or letters, you may see something that you find upsetting to you. This may occur before you have spoken to your doctor or while the surgery is closed and you cannot contact them.

Choosing to share your information with someone

It is up to you whether or not you share your information with others – perhaps family members or carers. It is your choice, but also your responsibility to keep the information safe and secure.

Coercion

If you think you may be pressured into revealing details from your patient record to someone else against your will, it is best that you do not register for access at this time.

Misunderstood information

Your medical record is designed to be used by clinical professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Some of the information within your medical record may be highly technical, written by specialists and not easily understood.

Information about someone else

If you spot something in the record that is not about you or notice any other errors, please log out of the system immediately and contact the practice as soon as possible.

More information

For more information about keeping your healthcare records safe and secure, you will find a helpful leaflet produced by the NHS in conjunction with the British Computer Society.

Keeping your online health and social care records safe and secure 

The practice has the right to remove online access to services for anyone that does not use them responsibly. For instance, patients with a history of non-attendance at pre-booked appointments (without cancelling) will not normally be granted access to online appointment booking, however the remainder of the facilities will be considered.

The Practice will not allow misuse of the online system and may monitor usage by individual patients. Where it is considered that a patient is misusing the system or is acting in a way detrimental to appointment availability or other facilities, a warning letter will be issued. Where the situation does not improve, or recurs, access will be removed permanently and without further notice, at the discretion of the Partners. Being able to see parts of your record online might help you to manage your medical conditions. It also means that you can access it from anywhere in the world, for instance should you require medical treatment on holiday. If you decide not to have this service, or wish to withdraw from it, this is your choice and practice staff will continue to treat you in the same way as before. This decision will not affect the quality of your care.