Patient access to records on NHS App delayed

30 November 2021

Plans to enable patient access to GP records through the NHS App will be delayed until April 2022.

NHS Digital has announced that from April 2022, patients with online accounts, such as through the NHS App will be able to read new entries in their health record. The announcement said: “This applies to patients whose practices use the TPP and EMIS systems. Arrangements with practices which use Vision as the clinical system are under discussion.”

In a recent primary care bulletin, NHS England said the delay was made in response to issues raised by general practices. NHS England said: “We appreciate that further time is needed to prepare systems and staff for the changes and to provide training on ensuring sensitive information is safely hidden from patient view as it’s entered on systems. This change is now planned to occur from April 2022 and will apply to all practices using TPP and EMIS systems.”

The delay comes after the British Medical Association (BMA) wrote to NHSX on 8 November expressing concerns about the timing of the rollout and concerns about the impact on patients and doctors. The letter expressed support for the aims of the broader programme but questioned the timing and whether the necessary infrastructure and support for practices were in place.

The change supports the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to give patients digital access to their health records.

NHS England said it means GPs will need to consider the impact of each entry, including documents and test results, as they add them to a patient’s record. Patients will not see personal information like positive test results until they have been checked and filed, so GPs can speak to patients first.

NHS England said it also aims to enable patients to request their historic coded records from 2022 through the NHS App.