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Online GP registration service attracts more than 400,000 users in first year

by Julie Griffiths
4 September 2023

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More than 425,000 patients have used NHS England’s online Register with a GP surgery service since its launch a year ago.

Since August 2022, over 1,400 GP surgeries – one in five nationally – have already joined the NHS online registration service, which is part of the plan for recovering access to primary care.

The aim is for 2,000 practices to be enrolled with the service by December 2023.

NHS England said that the service has been shown to save practice staff up to 15 minutes per registration by helping to reduce paperwork and admin time.

The service allows patients to go online at any time of day to find a local GP and register without having to visit the practice in person to collect forms.

Almost half (48%) of all patients using the online tool registered outside normal GP surgery opening hours, taking advantage of improved accessibility and convenience.

Two thirds (68%) of patients using the service over the past 12 months were switching GPs. Other submissions included patients registering with a GP for the first time and ex-military patients.

Dr Matt Curtis, a GP at Holycroft Surgery in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said patient feedback had been ‘really positive’.

‘Being able to register online saves people a trip into the practice to collect a paper registration pack, and it also saves time for our staff team as the information goes direct into the GP workflow seamlessly, making the process easier for everyone,’ he said.

Dr Amanda Doyle, national director of primary care and community services for NHS England, said the system helped practices as well as patients. 

‘It helps free up the time of busy practice staff so they can spend more time focusing on patients, and less time filling in paperwork.’

Patients can access the service using individual GP surgery websites and the NHS website’s Find a GP service, which is also available through the NHS App.

The service automatically checks that patients live in the catchment area for their new GP surgery and matches patients to their NHS records, further cutting admin for surgeries. It is also compatible with online translation tools.