NHS patients to see medical records online
Patients will be able to view their medical records online, email their GP and compare doctors across Britain under plans for an “information revolution” in the NHS to be led by Martha Lane Fox, the internet entrepreneur.
Martha Lane Fox says that the most useful online services for consumers should be made available to NHS patients over the next few years.
Those requiring treatment for cancer will be able to study survival rates – and waiting times – for different medical teams and then opt to have treatment where they wish, under the plans to be announced today. Proposals are being drawn up to give patients online access to their medical records.
Miss Lane Fox says that the most useful online services for consumers should be made available to NHS patients over the next few years.
It is hoped this will help drive up hospital standards as patients choose not to use the services of poor doctors, who will then lose funding. Patients will also be asked to rate the service and treatment they receive from different hospitals and medics.
They will be able to choose which GP they register with and whether to be treated at an NHS hospital or private or charity-run institution, within certain cost limits.
Miss Lane Fox, the founder of Lastminute.com, says the data could prove invaluable.
The Department of Health is the only major Whitehall department which will not see its spending cut this week. However, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, still has to push ahead with major reforms as the ageing population is causing a sharp rise in health-care costs.
Miss Lane Fox, the Government’s digital champion said: “A recent YouGov poll found that 40 per cent of people believe the NHS can learn from the service offered by supermarkets, banks and utility companies. I’ve always believed in the power of information and technology as an incredibly useful tool.
“There’s clearly an appetite for a new approach. The Department of Health is launching a consultation this week into how information and technology can help people take more control of their health and make the best choices for themselves and their families.”
The consultation will study how internal data could be offered to websites like TripAdvisor or Mumsnet, which could “empower patients and families”.
Mr Lansley said: “The first principle of the White Paper is that the NHS should ensure that for patients, ‘no decision about me, without me’ is the invariable practice. To realise this means patients must have more say and more choice.”
Tags: Andrew Lansley, Cancer, cancer survival, DoH, GPs, IT disaster, nhs waiting times, NPfIT, Patients' Association, waiting times