Tens of thousands of patients across Bury, Greater Manchester are joining their GP practice’s online services.
NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced on its website yesterday (14 March) that over 20,000 new patients joined the online services in 2017 alone, compared with over 5,500 in 2016.
A total of over 35,000 users opened an account to use GP digital services since it launched in 2015, the CCG said.
Local practice staff not only praised the convenience of the services for patients, but also spoke of the benefits the service brought to reduce pressure in general practice.
Local GP and IT lead for NHS Bury CCG Dr John Hampson, said: ‘The availability of GP online services is making a huge difference, not only to our patients who are using it to make appointments and order repeat prescriptions, but also to GP surgery staff.
‘It frees up time in practices allowing staff to allocate more resource to patient care.
‘It offers our patients the choice of how they can order a repeat prescription and book appointments, with online requests complimenting the more traditional methods.’
By using GP online services, patients avoid wasting time calling or visiting the surgery, Bury CCG said.
This is because they can book or cancel appointments online, order repeat prescriptions and access parts of their GP record online.
NHS Bury CCG said that ‘51% more repeat prescriptions requests were made online in 2017 compared to 2016’.
They said that Bury is leading the way in relation to ‘digital maturity’, with all GP practices offering access to free NHS Wi-Fi and digital assistance to patients via the adoption of a Digital Champion.
All GP practices were required to offer Wi-Fi services to patients and the public by 31 December 2017, according to NHS Digital and in compliance with the GP IT operating model.