Looking after someone can take up a lot of time. You may not feel you have enough time to sit in a queue or get on the phone to your GP practice to get an appointment or order a repeat prescription. This is where having access to online services could make it easier for you to get any healthcare you need. Every GP practice in England should offer their patients access to online services and their electronic patient record.

Most patients can access their records through an online facility called SystmOnline (although a few practices may still be using a slightly different system). It is commonly accessed through the practice website.

Depending how your practice has set up their patient records, most people should be able to:

  • Book GP/Nurse appointments online;
  • Order repeat prescriptions;
  • See test results;
  • See your list of medication;
  • See your allergies listed.

As time goes on the electronic patient record will build extra functions, like seeing a summary of consultations. One of the aims of the electronic patient record is that core information can be shared easily between different professionals, so if you need a referral to a Community Nursing team, they will be able to access your notes and ensure you receive the correct treatment or if you end up in A&E, the doctors will know what medication you are taking and other important details.

Normally you can only access your own record. However, if the person you are caring for gives permission, or if you have lasting power of attorney for health and welfare you may be able to access and manage that person’s record too.

If you would like to get access to your electronic patient record, or arrange with the person you care for to share access to their electronic patient record, you will need to contact your GP practice to find out how to sign up. You will normally be asked to come in personally with some photo ID to prove who you are. They will then give you your login details.

Further information on accessing your electronic patient records can be found on the NHS website.