NHS urges practices to adopt online GP registration
Six in seven practices have yet to join digital service launched nine months ago
The NHS has urged surgeries to sign up for the national online service enabling patients to register with a GP digitally.
The platform launched in August and is intended to reduce the need for manual processing of paper forms – which is still relied upon by many of England’s 6,500 GP surgeries. Patients can access the service online and via the NHS app or, where applicable, through the websites of individual GPs.
Since its creation last year, about 900 practices are accepting registrations via the service. This represents about 14% of the overall total – meaning six in seven are still yet to adopt the system. The NHS is encouraging more surgeries to join up.
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Stephen Koch, NHS England’s executive director of platforms, said: “This service reduces the administrative burden for general practice as well as making GP registration even more accessible to the public, offering patients more choice, convenience and consistency. We’re pleased to see a growing number of GP practices are coming on board, helping them save time and money. By recently integrating the service with the NHS App, we hope even more GP practices will take advantage of this new digital tool.”
The service is designed to automatically verify individuals’ identity via the NHS Login system – for which more than 30 million people have now registered. The GP registration platform “also matches patients to their NHS numbers with a 90% first time match rate”, according to the NHS.
Functionality updates planned for the rest of 2023 include improvements to the service that connects patients to practices in their catchment area, “including being able to accept out-of-area patients”. The system will also make upgrades to accessibility and, next year, will integrate with GPs’ clinical software platforms, according to the NHS’s product roadmap.
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