Patient Online is an NHS England programme designed to support GP practices to offer and promote online services to patients, including access to appointment booking, ordering of repeat prescriptions and access to coded information in records.
Strong evidence from the London Estates Technology Transformation Fund Project (ETTF) and national team accelerator sites indicates that practices that actively promote these services and register patients benefit from reduced administrative workload and increased patient satisfaction.
London has set out an ambitious and attractive vision of primary care that works more easily and effectively together (general practices with each other and other primary care providers), operates without borders, and in partnership with the wider health and care system. This vision is outlined in the Transforming Primary Care in London: A Strategic Commissioning Framework building on NHS England London’s Transforming Primary Care in London: General Practice A Call to Action. It addresses the need to provide a more consistent service for all Londoners through improving coordination of care, access to services and taking a more proactive approach to our patients’ health and wellbeing.
What you can do to encourage uptake for online services:
- Provide patients with an online services registration form and patient information leaflet
- Promote online services to your patients via your website, telephone answering service, text messaging campaigns, email campaigns, posters/TV screens in your waiting room and practice leaflets
- Ensure practice staff know how to register patients with online services and be aware of any safeguarding risks
- Use the new animated video produced by Healthy London partnership at GP practices to increase awareness to patients
We have implemented
Healthy London Partnership conducted a pan-London project led by our Patient Online team to improve the provision of online services in primary care. It invoved overseeing local Patient Online facilitators in each CCG area that worked directly with all London practices delivering:
- Technical support to Practice Managers and administrative staff in ensuring availability of services to their patients
- Engaging with GPs and practice team staff, raising awareness, delivering presentations and webinars for all practice staff
- Empowering patient participation groups and local voluntary sector organisations to champion Patient Online to raise awareness in their local community
- Raise awareness around Patient Online
- Utilised a wide range of communications tools for practices that included leaflets, posters and on-line toolkits and more
Results of this project have shown an increase in the utilisation of online services for registering patients and appointment availability across the London region.
London has demonstrated very encouraging progress throughout the length of the ETTF project. Over 500,000 patients have created themselves a new online account in this period meaning there are currently over 1.7 million Londoners with an online account. These patients will be utilising the Online Services of the 99.5% of London GP Practices that have them enabled.
With over 1.7 million patients using online services we can expect to see non cash releasing savings of £4.2 million to the NHS, per year, just through online appointment booking alone. This level of utilisation will also provide time savings of over 400,000 working days per year!
Healthy London Partnership and NHS England London region will continue to support the Patient Online programme ensuring delivery for 20% of patients registered as per the aim for 2017 PMS contract.
Local resources available
- Case studies: Large number of patients registering at GP practices (NHS Bexley CCG); A practice manager’s experience (North End Medical Centre, West Kensington); Benefits (Tynemouth Medical Practice, Haringey); Increasing patient registration (London Road Medical Centre, Croydon); Maintaining the momentum of online registration and booking appointments (Hilly Fields Medical Centre, Lewisham); Choosing to go above and beyond in order to meet patient requirements (South Lewisham Group Practice, Lewisham); Offering online registration and booking of appointments at GP practices (Vale Medical Centre Practice, Lewisham); Delivering Patient Online across forty practices (Lewisham CCG)
- Patient Online animated videos: 30 seconds and 60 seconds that can be used for social media and GP paractice screens.
- Tools to promote Patient Online in your area: GP Online communications toolkit created for London CCGs and boroughs
For additional support, please e-mail London region ENGLAND.POLLondon@nhs.net