Lancashire residents struggle to access medical records

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A new report has revealed that people in Lancashire are finding it difficult to access their medical records online.

Healthwatch Lancashire has published a report following a preliminary investigation into how people can gain online access to their medical records.

Our report shows that being able to access systems online needs to be easier

Neil Greaves, Communications Manager at Healthwatch Lancashire

Healthwatch Lancashire volunteers and members of staff attempted to access their own medical records and access online services at their own local GP and only three people were able to access their full records.

The investigation did find that three quarters of the group were able to access some online features through their GP surgery to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions.

NHS England and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group both responded to the findings of the report. NHS England stated that the report will be used to inform a Lancashire Digital Roadmap which sets out the strategy for health and social care services across Lancashire.

This preliminary investigation is being followed up by patient engagement visits to individual GP practices by Healthwatch Lancashire to listen to people’s experiences. Since May 2016, Healthwatch Lancashire has undertaken 12 of these visits and will be continuing to visit GPs throughout the year.

The findings from the visits are shared with practice managers, local clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and published on the Healthwatch Lancashire website.

Neil Greaves, Communications Manager at Healthwatch Lancashire, said: “This investigation aimed to look at how it feels for members of the public to access online services within their GPs and our findings show that being able to access systems online needs to be easier. The report for Access to medical records and online services at GP surgeries in Lancashire is available to read online or download on the Healthwatch Lancashire website www.healthwatchlancashire.co.uk/reports