Access to patient records through the NHS App

From April 2022, patients with online accounts such as through the NHS App will be able to read new entries in their health record.

This applies to patients whose practices use the TPP and EMIS systems. Arrangements with practices which use Vision as the clinical system are under discussion. 

From April 2022, the GPIT system configuration is being changed so that existing online users have access to their future, or prospective, health information entered after this change is made. New online users set up after this date will also receive this level of access by default. General practice will be able to customise or remove access for individuals if having access to future, or perspective, GP health information is inappropriate. 

This is an NHS England and NHS Improvement programme supported by NHS Digital.

The change supports NHS Long Term Plan commitments to provide patients with digital access to their health records. It means GPs will need to consider the impact of each entry, including documents and test results, as they add them to a patient’s record. Patients will not see personal information – such as positive test results – until they have been checked and filed, giving clinicians the chance to contact and speak to patients first.

We also aim to enable patients to request their historic coded records in 2022 through the NHS App.

Research shows that increasing numbers of patients want easy access to health information about them, including 80% of the 22 million NHS App users. Better access supports patients as partners in managing their health, and can help reduce queries to general practice such as on negative test results and referral letters.

This change will apply to the NHS App and all other approved patient facing services apps that provide record access, for example Evergreen, Airmid, SystmOnline and Patient Access.

What general practice staff should know

  • Patients whose GP practices use the TPP or EMIS system will see new GP records entered from after April 2022.
  • From April 2022 we are giving patients with an online account access to their future, or prospective, full GP health record including free text, letters and documents.
  • Be aware and mindful that patients will be able to see their future records.
  • Know how to manage this as a change to your workflow - ensuring sensitive information is redacted as it is entered onto the clinical system, or in rare circumstances know when it may be inappropriate to give a patient access to their record.
  • Patients will see new information once it is entered, or filed, onto their record in the clinical system.
  • Patients will not see their historic, or past, health record information unless they have already been given access to it by their GP practice.
  • Patients will not have access to administrative tasks or communications between practice staff.

https://digital.nhs.uk/services/nhs-app/nhs-app-guidance-for-gp-practices/accelerating-patient-access-to-their-record

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