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UK patients to get online access to records by 2015

Government commits to greater health information access as part of its wide-ranging reforms to the NHS

UK patients will have online access to their care records by 2015 under government plans to give them access to the “information they want, when they want it”.

“Good, accessible information will help enable people to be in the driving seat about decisions affecting their care,” it said.

It made the commitments in its response to the Future Forum's report on the government's wide-ranging package of NHS reforms in the Health and Social Care Bill.

Key elements of this will include giving patients online access to their own care records by 2015 and providing an interactive map of GP practices that can be accessed through the NHS Choices website.

Responding to the recommendations the Government said: “[We] fully agree with the Future Forum's assessment that there is a real case for change in the way that information is used and shared across the health and care services, and massive untapped potential for better information to improve the quality of care for patients and users of care services.

“The right information, presented in a meaningful way, can have a transformative effect on people's experience of their care by giving them the tools they need to exercise genuine and informed choice.”

But the government said it recognised that “bringing about this 'information revolution' will require significant culture change”.

There were also suggestions that the NHS move to using its IT systems to share data about individual patients and service users electronically to support high quality care.

The government-backed Future Forum was tasked last August with considering key questions about reforms contained within the NHS reforms.

Writing to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley with its interim findings in November the Future Forum noted that “patients must have better online access to services and to their health and care records”.

The next stage for this part of the reforms will come in the Government's forthcoming information strategy for health and social care in England, which is due to be published by April.

13th January 2012

From: Marketing

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