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Practices must get online by 2015, says NHS Mandate

13 November 2012

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GPs need to “get on with” meeting “ambitious” online access plans, said NHS boss David Nicholson at the launch on the NHS Mandate today.

The Mandate, in which the Government sets out the objectives for the NHS Commissioning Board for next two years, calls for everyone to be able to talk to their GP, order repeat prescriptions and book appointments online by 2015.

There will be no national contract for these online services and Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information, will be in charge of making sure the IT systems chosen by practices are compatible across England.

Secretary for State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said the plans “lay to rest the ghosts of the failures of Labour’s IT projects which cannot be used as a reason to bury our heads in the sand with respect to technology”.

“It seems crazy that you can dial 999 and an ambulance can go to someone’s home and not know that person they are picking up has mild dementia, is a diabetic and has had a couple of falls last year…we need to embrace the technology revolution,” he said.

Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, said that practices “should get on” with putting these services in place and not wait for direction from the board.

It’s also planned for the NHS Choices website to be the gateway for the public to access information about the performance of their local healthcare services.