The Power of Information

BBC Radio 4 interview on You and Yours on the benefits of patients accessing their records 

Listen to Dr Hannan, Margaret Rickson and Lord Howe talk about the benefits of patients accessing their GP electronic health records and how the government is now encouraging others to do the same based on the experience we have had at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres as well as other practices that are also offering the service. Click here to listen to the interview on the BBC iPlayer – you will need to move the slider to 35:08 minutes to hear it. Alternatively click on the video below to listen to it directly. 

The Department of Health has also just released the strategy document entitled “The power of information – putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need” where it describes the IT strategy for England and Wales. Click on the picture opposite to learn more about it.

Move slider to 35:08 to listen to item

The patients and practice staff at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres have a special mention in the document who have demonstrated what patients can do if given the opportunity to learn and manage their own health, have greater confidence in their ability to self care and become eMPOWERed! We believe the practice website which signposts patients to essential national and regional information as well as local services and what is available inside the practice is a key component to enabling patients to get the best from their NHS. This helps patients to improve their health literacy, encourages patients to not only look at their records but also check their records for accuracy and add information relevant to them(eg blood pressure readings, blood glucose readings and details about their health that clinicians can perhaps read before a consultation – co-production of electronic health records) and hence gain a better understanding of their health so that they can make more informed decisions about themselves and their loved ones. We call this a Partnership of Trust which lies at the heart of shared decision making

Here is how a patient of Haughton Thornley Medical Centre describes some of these things in their own words:

“I have been diagnosed Diabetic since 1994, I also have Hypertension and Diabetic Neuropathy.

Throughout my illnesses, I have found it necessary to keep records of my medication and test results. This can be quite a complex process involving many strange words, complicated doses and results. However, now that I have Direct Records Access through I can easily view my results, medication reviews, current and previous medications. I am also able to print them out for my own use or to take with me for my Consultant or other Medical personnel. The added bonus of this access are the links with explanations of my results [particularly as some will state ‘Abnormal’ simply because I am Diabetic]. I am also able to review consultations and communications on line at my leisure.

The Map of Medicine available via the practice website has proven invaluable in answering my queries with regard to my conditions, possible outcome of tests and future prognosis.

These facilities have also saved me many visits to the surgery by their ease of availability at any time.

My wife and I constantly extol the virtues of Records Access to Friends and Relations often recommending that they approach their own surgery to provide the same facility.”

D Mycock

If anybody would like to send any comments, suggestions or would like to get access to their own records and you are patients of the practice then please send us an email to [email protected] and we will get back in touch. Alternatively please go to where you will find further details.