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York patients take the lead on digital GP services

Health commissioners and GP practices in the Vale of York are celebrating their efforts that have led to surpassing national targets set for patients registered to online alternatives for managing appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and viewing medical records.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group has beat the NHS England target of 30% following months of planning, marketing and engagement between the CCG, GP practices and patients.

Dr Andrew Lee, the CCG’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health said: “It’s fantastic that the Vale of York population are engaged with online GP services and that we are ahead of the NHS England target for population coverage. For those who are able to use online services it can be a much quicker and easier way for people to book or cancel appointments, read clinical correspondence letters, order repeat medicines and access their GP record wherever they are 24/7.

“Having access to information online means people can engage in managing their own health, work in partnership with their GP practice and fully understand and share information with other professionals when needed.”

Beech Tree Surgery and Unity Health are significantly achieving above 50% of online users, with Old School Medical Practice showing noticeable increases.

Andrea Gibbon, Operational Facilities Manager, Old School Medical Practice said:  “As a practice we are thrilled to learn that we have had such an increase in the uptake of online access. Since becoming a beacon practice for NHS England, with regards to online access back in 2016, we have made it our aim to make sure that all patients are aware that they do have this option available to them both on registration at the practice but also our reception team constantly check and advise patients who are not yet registered to do so. We have seen a slight drop in the number of phone calls received at 8am, this is mainly due to patients logging in and arranging routine appointments online thus freeing up reception who can concentrate on people that need urgent on the day care.

“Online Access enables the patient to take control of their health at a time that is convenient for them, we will continue to push forward with online access and look forward to reaching 50%”.

For a step by step guide on how to set up free GP services online visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/gps/gp-online-services/

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