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GP patient registration to go online following bureaucracy review

by Emma Wilkinson
16 August 2021

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The NHS in England is working on plans to allow patients to register with a GP practice online, as part of the Government’s wide-ranging review into reducing unnecessary bureaucracy.

NHS Digital is encouraging GPs to fill in a 10-minute form to help them understand the information and data that is needed for registration.

The project to ‘modernise and standardise’ they way people register with general practice is part of the GP bureaucracy review with the aim of reducing the administrative burden on practices.

GP practice staff are being asked what information is essential, preferable or not needed on a wide range of topics including organ donation, medical information, proof of identity, nationality, BMI, date of last flu vaccination and smear test and if they are registered as disabled.

In all there are 73 questions, the answers to which will guide how online registration works for the project which is being done jointly by NHS Digital, NHS England and NHSX.

It also includes question around residency status and language needs and carer responsibilities.

‘We are progressing some work to modernise and standardise how people register with a GP practice,’ NHS Digital said.

‘This includes developing a solution that will allow people to register online. 

‘We want to hear from both citizens and GP practices to help shape this work. This exercise is to help us understand the various information requirements at the point of registration and how that information is used.’

To date, the GP bureaucracy review has resulted proposals to cut GP appraisals back from five hours to 30 minutes; reform fit notes so more healthcare professionals can issue them; allow death certificates to be emailed and ‘permanently remove the cremation form 5 requirement’. The CQC has also said it would be ‘moving away from periodic inspections’.

A Government consultation on reducing GP bureaucracy was published in November last year.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.