Patients to have online access to health records by 2015

NHS patients will be able to access their own personal health records online by 2015, the government has announced.

The move was revealed as part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s autumn review, which also included plans to link GP and hospital data on patient outcomes.

The review states: ‘The government will ensure all NHS patients can access their personal GP records online by the end of this parliament.’

The DoH said linking GP and hospital data via the Clinical Practice Research Datalink would ‘stimulate medical research and enable patients to take informed decisions about their care’.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said patients would benefit directly from transparent and easy-to-use data.

‘This will fuel advances in treatment, as well as positioning this country as a centre of excellence for research,’ he said.

‘We will also encourage information providers to use this data we open up to the public, so they can offer patients insights into the quality of care on offer and drive improvements in the quality of science,' he said.

'Not only will this approach to open data support research and knowledge-based services, it will crucially empower patients to take decisions about their own care and so drive up quality.’

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