Online GP consultations 'to become widespread'

GPs will be forced to offer online consultations under DH plans to 'significantly increase' the use of technology in the NHS.

Internet: DH wants online consultations to become 'widespread'
Internet: DH wants online consultations to become 'widespread'

The government expects the NHS to provide more internet and technology-based services to help people manage their health and care.

Under plans from the DH, the option of e-consultations will become 'much more widely available' for patients.

By March 2015, patients must also be allowed to view medical records, book appointments and order repeat prescriptions over the internet. They should also be able to talk with their GP practice via email.

The NHS must also ensure GP patient records are transferable between different NHS providers. Greater use of telehealth and telecare will be prompted to three million people, as set out last year.

The move is one of a raft of technology-based changes to NHS and GP services under a new set of standards for the NHS called the 'NHS Mandate', launched by health secretary Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday.

The mandate sets out how the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) should prioritise care and the outcomes it should pursue, such as improving dementia care and early diagnosis of cancer.

The NHSCB will use the 'ambitions' set out in the NHS Mandate and the NHS Outcomes Framework to performance manage clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The mandate states: 'In a digital age, it is crucial that the NHS not only operates at the limits of medical science, but also increasingly at the forefront of new technologies.

'In particular, the government expects that by March 2015 ... everyone will be able to have secure electronic communication with their GP practice, with the option of e-consultations becoming much more widely available.'

NHS performance will also be exposed to far greater scrutiny in what the DH calls a 'revolution in transparency'. The health service will be required to publish outcomes data online for all major services by 2015 'to drive standards of care', according to the DH.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who unveiled the NHS Mandate on Tuesday, revealed the NHSCB will be handed a budget of £95bn for 2013/14.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GP practices can start ordering flu vaccine from an 8m-dose government stockpile...

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

A vaccine yet to be licensed in the UK accounts for more than a quarter of the 8m...

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

More than half of GPs say numbers of older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms...

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

GPs and primary care teams should have played a key role in the UK’s efforts to test,...

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

General practice has risen 'heroically' to unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19...

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

The rapid switch to remote GP consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic provided...