Patients to edit medical records by 2015

Patients should be able to view and edit their medical records by 2015, the NHS Future Forum is to recommend.

Professor Steve Field: This will build trust between patients and clinicians
Professor Steve Field: This will build trust between patients and clinicians

The backing, expected to be revealed next month but reported in The Times today, builds on the announcement made in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s autumn review last month.

The NHS Future Forum is expected to say that patients should be able to download their entire medical history and see details of prescriptions and appointments free of charge.

They will be able to view the results of medical tests and of discharge notes sent from hospital and obtain repeat prescriptions.

Patients will not be able to automatically overwrite notes made by a doctor but will be able to point out mistakes or ask for a second opinion from their GP.

Patients would also be able to gain access to their records in case of emergencies, even out of hours.

Professor Steve Field, NHS Future Forum chairman, told GPonline.com: ‘Patients increasingly expect to access and use information about their lives and it's right that should include medical records. This will help them make informed choices about their health care and build trust between patients and clinicians.’

Health minister Lord Howe said: ‘We fully support NHS patients having online access to their personal GP records. Our vision for a modern NHS is to give patients more information and control over their health. That’s why the independent NHS Future Forum has continued to listen specifically on this issue and how we make it a reality for patients.’

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