NHS Patients to Have Online Medical Records by April 2015
According to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, all NHS patients will have online access to their medical records by April 2015.
Hunt said England will be the first country in the world to offer such access to patient data.
He said: "It means you will no longer have to pay to access your medical record. You'll be able to see it and show it to anyone you choose. You'll find it easier to do detailed research about your condition and easier to challenge decisions. Because the boss is not the doctor - it's you."
GP's have agreed to the move as part of the new GP contract agreed between the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS England.
GP's will also expand the availability of online appointment bookings.
In April this year, NHS England provided an extra £230m of funding to help improve the IT systems used by GP practices.
Hunt added: "This summer we became the first country in the world to publish detailed information about safety, waiting times, patient experience and food for every major hospital. And on the new MyNHS website we'll go further."
As it stands, there is very little integration between health data - held by the NHS - and social care data, which is held by local authorities.
Hunt said: "For the first time ever, it is happening - 150 local authority areas working together with their local NHS on their Better Care plans to pool commissioning, reduce emergency admissions and share medical records, all starting from next April."
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