NHS says 208,000 patients are now using online GP services in Suffolk and north-east Essex

More and more people are going online to book GP appointments. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/INGRAM PUBLISHI

More and more people are going online to book GP appointments. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/INGRAM PUBLISHING - Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

More than 200,000 people across Suffolk and north-east Essex are now using the internet to book GP appointments, request prescriptions and view their health records.

Latest figures reveal 14 million people nationally are now signed up to use online services at their doctor surgery, which is a 42% increase compared to the same period last year.

In Suffolk and north-east Essex, 23% of patients – 208,000 – are registered to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view their records and see their test results using their smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer.

These services are different from those offering online consultations with a GP.

The NHS Digital figures from February 2018 show an average of nearly 13,000 appointments in Suffolk and north-east Essex are being made or cancelled online every month and almost 51,000 prescriptions ordered digitally.

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Fressingfield Medical Centre in Suffolk has seen the proportion of its patients registered to use online services increase from just over 27% in April last year to now almost 34%.

Dr Masood Nazir, national clinical lead for NHS England’s ‘Patient Online’ programme, said: “There are many demands on GP practices, so encouraging patients to register for online services is not only helping reduce some of the pressure but it is empowering, enabling and motivating more patients to share the responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

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“Interacting with your GP practice online works well for patients with long term conditions who can use their GP record to become more knowledgeable and confident about their condition, treatment and care prior to attending an appointment with their doctor or nurse.”

More information about GP online services and how to sign up is available on the NHS website.

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