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The well-known NHS Choices website is being revamped and will become a “digital front door” for accessing NHS services and advice.
The website, which has been renamed NHS.UK, will allow patients to register with a GP, order prescriptions and book appointments online.
Teams from across NHS England, Department for Health, NHS Digital and NHS Choices began work to develop the website in September 2015, and it is expected to be ready by the end of 2017.
The aim is for the website to become the “trusted route into personalised digital care”. It will be an information directory encompassing several services, including the NHS electronic prescription service, an online version of NHS 111, e-referrals and the NHS health apps library.
The online version of the non-emergency system NHS 111 began testing in 2015 and is being expanded to include an online triage service for “less serious health problems” to allow patients to enter their symptoms and get advice on a call from a healthcare professional.
NHS.UK will also allow patients to view and download their personal health records. All patients should now be able to access their full GP medical records online through their GP’s website, but moving access to NHS.UK means quicker and easier access to all NHS services.
There are currently around 3,000 NHS sites, but many are not joined up and the services offered widely varies. This will also be the first time patients are able to register online with a GP.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the plans will “make it easier for patients to get the medical support and information they need, and should encourage more of us to use the growing range of online NHS services available”.
“This is a way of supplementing patients seeing their doctor in a more conventional, face-to-face setting and, crucially, it will give people more choice and the opportunity to access healthcare in a way that works for them,” he said.
The MyNHS website, allowing people to see how their local services are performing, will also be integrated with NHS.UK. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...