NHS North West PR 13 18/01/2011
Ministers recently set out a vision, through the NHS White Paper's Information Revolution consultation document, that patients' care records should become routinely available to them. However, patients and clinicians at the Haughton Thornley Medical Centres, Tameside, are ahead of the game in offering this service and have recently seen their 1000th patient sign up for online access.
Haughton Thornley Medical Centres (HTMC) started offering online access to health records and other services including appointment setting and re-ordering of repeat prescriptions in 2006 and, since establishing a patient information portal in 2008 (www.htmc.co.uk), the take up of online services provided by EMIS and PAERS has accelerated with patients also benefiting from a trusted source of health information via the web which links to rich sources of information from a range of providers.
The web portal means that registered patients can now log in from the privacy and comfort of their own home, work or anywhere with an internet connection, to undertake a number of tasks such as:
Requesting repeat prescriptions
Access test results
View previous GP consultation notes, as well as
Viewing any correspondence between hospital consultants and the GP
Currently there are around 50 practices within the country, 15 of which lie within the North West are using this system
Dr Forida Abdullah, a Partner who has recently joined the practice says, "As with anything that's worth doing, once patients obtain online access to their medical records they realise that a little bit of effort reaps many rewards. This means that patients are able to benefit from up-to-date information and advice, take ownership of their own healthcare and be involved in the way medicine moves forward". As Yvonne Bennett, a patient at the practice says "It helps to build a 'Partnership of Trust' between patient and health care worker".
Commenting on HTMCs' recent achievement, Dr Hannan, a partner at HTMC who has been a pioneer of making the access to patient's records online possible, said "Passing this landmark of 1000 patients accessing their records is a special moment and I want to thank all those who have contributed to making it happen, in particular our very special patients and staff - many of whom have travelled the length and breadth of the country with me to share their own experiences with others - this has been a four year journey so far and we hope to be able to pass on what we have learned wherever we can."
Mike Farrar, Chief Executive of NHS North West, commented: "The obvious success that has been acheived at the Haughton Thornley Medical Centres in sharing patient records online really trailblazes the fantastic opportunity that online patient records offers to the people of the North West and ensures that they are more fully involved in the decision making around their own health. The successful implementation of this patient option at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres has reinvigorated our plans to see this implemented as widely as possible in the North West and we look forward to see many other practices offering the same facilities in the near future'.
Notes to Editors:
Haughton Thornley Medical Centres manage two surgeries in Hyde and Denton located in the Tameside area of Greater Manchester. The Practice has 6 partners, 4 nurses and approximately 12,000 patients. In 2009, HTMC received the 'best use of 'IM & T' award from Mangement in Practice.
Haughton Thornley Medical Centres has created its online offering through vendor relationships with Griftech (provides the Content Management Platform which hosts www.htmc.co.uk), EMIS, a supplier of software and related services to GP practices (provides the secure patient portal EMIS Access) and PAERS (Company specialising in secure access to GP held records integrated with EMIS).
Manor House surgery in Glossop has also recently started offering Records Access too and now has over 250 patients online too.
Background to Patient Access to Records
The White Paper Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, published on 12 July 2010, sets out proposals for the NHS to become a truly world-class service that is:
easy to access,
treats people as individuals and
offers care that is safe and of the highest quality
It sets out a vision for an NHS that puts patients at the heart of everything that we do and states that for patients and service users, there should be "no decision about me, without me". People should be involved as much as they want to be in every decision about their care: what care they want and how and where they want it delivered
In a supporting consultation paper, 'Liberating the NHS: An Information Revolution' it is suggested that in order for these changes to happen, people actually need to be given a greater range of choices, and high quality information to help them take greater control of their care. People's care records should become routinely available to them, starting with their GP record. These proposals are still subject to the outcome of a public consultation; however, NHS North West is keen to work with GP practices across the region to support them in making this vision a reality in the near future and already has a programme of workshops and events underway to support this.