Issue 11 | January 2023

2023 GP Patient Survey

Have your say on the way your local GP services are working?

Around 2.4 million people, aged 16 and over, who are registered with a GP practice in England will receive an invitation to take part in Europe’s biggest patient experience survey in early January. The answers we get help the NHS to improve local health services for people like you and your family. It is important that we hear about your experiences even if you have not visited your GP practice recently, or if you have filled in a questionnaire before.

The invitations go out mostly by letter to a random selection of people who have been registered with their GP practice for at least 6 months. The survey team at NHS England will follow this up with a text message reminder (where a mobile number is available) alongside further paper questionnaires to encourage as high a response rate as possible.

If you receive a survey, please do take the time to take part. It provides vital information to the NHS to identify what is working well and what can be improved. It helps to identify inequalities in experience too, as the results can be analysed across different protected characteristics.

If you want to check out how Marden Medical Centre faired in last year’s survey, look at the survey website.


NHS App for Repeat Prescriptions & Other Services

If you have not already done so - Please consider using the NHS App.

We still receive prescription requests on paper and by emails from chemists which are both slow to upload manually and have scope for mistakes around the items you need. Please consider using the NHS app to make things faster and safer for yourself and for NHS staff.

The app will also allow you get health information and advice, manage your appointments, see most of your GP medical records and get Covid passes. A full guide on how to access the app is on our Surgery website but this is a basic summary:

You will need to have the following:

  • A smartphone with camera
  • An email account
  • Your NHS number will help but is not essential, it is on most printed prescription slips
  • A photo ID such as passport or driving license
  • It will take a few minutes to do and a few hours to be verified

You will need to electronically send a picture of the ID and then record a short video. Each step is explained.

Simply download the free NHS app from your Appstore or Google Play store.

This is the application the GPs would recommend you use. If you are having difficulty accessing or using the App – please call John Haddow on 07769 538 897.


Other News

Family Mediation Week – 16 - 20th January 2023

Family Mediation Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of family mediation and of the benefits it can bring to separating families. The aim is to let more people know about the benefits of family mediation and encourage separating couples to think about family mediation as a way of helping them take control, make decisions together and build a positive future for their family.


Patient Access to Full General Practice Health Records - Paused

Medical records hold information about you.

They are also sometimes called health records. You will have separate records for any NHS service you go to including your GP surgery, hospital, dentist or opticians. How to get your record depends on which record it is.

Your GP record includes information like any conditions or allergies you have and any medicine you are taking. Most patients will automatically be given access to more information added to their GP record from November 2022 onwards. This includes letters, test results and appointment notes.

Some people may also have access to information added to their GP record before this date. You can access your GP record and nominate someone you trust to access it too.

There are 3 main ways to get your GP record:

  1. You can get your GP record by logging into your account using the NHS app or NHS website. First, you need to register for online services and prove who you are. You can do this when you create an account. You will need to ask your GP surgery for online access to your full record, or you will only see your medicines and allergies.
  2. You might be able to use other GP online services and apps to get your GP record. First, you need to register for online services and prove who you are. You will need to ask your GP surgery for online access to your full record, or you will only see your medicines and allergies. Some services and apps are only available in certain areas. Ask your GP surgery which one you can use. Contact the online service or app you are using, or your GP surgery, if you have any questions.
  3. You can ask for your GP record at your GP surgery.

For any other medical records, you need to ask for them at the NHS service you went to. This includes records like your hospital record. Check the website for the NHS service you want your records for. You might need to fill out a form to ask for access.

Marden Medical Centre is supportive on patients having GP records access including digital access and process individual requests in as timely a fashion as practical.

The following report was extracted from The Patient Experience Library 17th January 2023.

Back in 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan called on health services to deliver more person-centred care. Part of the follow-through was that all GP patients would have "online access to their full record, including the ability to add their own information, as the default position from April 2020". This paper looks at what has happened since then.

According to the authors, NHS England planned to provide citizen access to general practice records in December 2021. But the launch was put back to April 2022, and then further deferred to November 2022. Then, just two days before the November deadline, the BMA called for a total rethink of the programme. 

"It remains unclear", says the paper, "when default access will be available for everyone".

In the absence of default access, patients still have a legal right to apply for access to their own health information. But "those who request it often face barriers or are given only limited data". Similarly, information on things like consultations and test results is technically accessible through the NHS app. But "most patients have not been 'enabled' to see it, and many are unaware that this is possible".

The paper makes the point that "Incomplete and uneven access to personal health information makes little sense to patients and their carers. Lack of timely access adds to their healthcare burdens".

The authors conclude that " With access to care in the UK among the worst in Europe, patients have little choice but to be more self-reliant". They argue that "Ready online access to their full health record would help them and also reduce demand on the health system. The commitment to provide it", they say, "should be realised".

The full report can be viewed here


New PPG Members

If you are aware of any patients who would benefit from joining the PPG - please share this News Update and encourage them to join.

Published: Jan 24, 2023