A new online national GP registration service has been used by over 425,000 patients in the first year since it was launched. NHS England reports that the service was first made available in August 2022 to reduce paperwork for GP surgeries and to improve patient access.
Until last year, all patients wishing to register with a surgery for the first time or transfer between surgeries had to collect paper forms in person. This process can be inconvenient and time-consuming for both patients and GP staff. Over half of all patients using the new online registration service did so out of regular surgery hours.
The online Register With a GP Surgery service is now available at over 1,400 practices in England, with the aim of increasing this to 2,000 practices by the end of December 2023.
Stephen Koch, NHS England’s Executive Director of Platforms, said: “We’re pleased to see one in five GP surgeries are now part of the national online Register with a GP surgery service, giving patients an improved experience and helping to reduce known barriers that exist with GP registration.”
He added: “Patients no longer have to visit a surgery to register as they can access the service any time, outside working hours, using the internet or NHS App. It is free for GP surgeries to use and saves them time by making the process much simpler.”
Ultimately, the new scheme will help to free up the time of clinicians so that they can carry out more direct patient care. At the end of May, NHS waiting lists reached record levels of 7.47 million. The government has said that reducing the waiting lists was a key priority for this year, but progress has been hampered by a series of strikes involving NHS staff.
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