A newly launched service that will allow patients to change their postal address using the NHS App aims to reduce workload for practice staff.
Patients will be able to login to their NHS App and change their address without visiting their GP practice. This information will then sync automatically with GP systems, according to NHS Digital.
In a GP Practice Managers’ bulletin, NHS Digital said this would help to ‘reduce the burden on NHS staff’.
NHS Digital has asked for practice managers who are interested in enabling the new address service for patients to fill in a survey to understand whether it is the right fit for their practice.
The survey asks questions including if your practice asks patients to provide proof of their new address and if patients who move outside of a catchment area are allowed to stay on your patient list. However, NHS Digital does not currently have a list of specific criteria that practices need to meet and there is no limit for practices who can sign up.
Practices that have responded to the survey will then be contacted by NHS Digital ‘closer to roll out’, which is currently planned for summer 2023.
NHS Digital said this new feature would improve the quality of data within the personal demographics service (PDS) which is an electronic database of NHS patient details that includes their name, address, date of birth and NHS number.
The PDS is designed to help healthcare providers to be able to identify a patient and communicate with them, and includes information such as the patient’s immigration status, if they are liable to be charged for some services, if they have a nominated pharmacy, or if the record is sensitive.
This latest development comes after an online service launched earlier this year to allow patients to register with a GP practice remotely.