Improving access to patient records for healthcare professionals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been asked to use NHS services in different ways, such as by healthcare professionals other than their usual GP.

We want to ensure patients receive the best possible care, at the right time and in the most appropriate place, and the only way we can do this is by providing healthcare professionals with the most up-to-date and relevant notes about your medical history.

Health care professionals need access to your detailed and current record in order to make decisions with you about treatment plans. This promotes your safety as you can be confident any treatment plan is made having carefully considered your medical history, current prescription medicines and preferences.

New national COVID-19 guidance has introduced temporary changes to improve GPs’ and other healthcare professionals’ ability to treat patients outside of their registered practice, giving you easier access to a GP when you need one, regardless of demand or staffing levels in your own practice.

It will also give authorised health and care professionals working in primary care, NHS 111 and other appropriate direct care settings, access to the GP records of the patients they are treating, regardless of where they are registered.

In addition, remote organisations such as NHS111 will be able to book appointments directly with your GP practice, enabling healthcare professionals to provide more timely care and provide flexibility for the primary care system.

Previously, healthcare professionals working outside a patient’s registered GP practice could only routinely access limited detail within their summary care record.

Patients retain the right to withdraw consent for their records to be shared, however this could limit the healthcare professionals’ knowledge of their medical history during a consultation.