Power to the people: Government to modernise the NHS and give patients more control of their health

The Government announced yesterday plans to put more power into hands of people in regards to their health by the use of information and technology. The new proposals were outlined by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who is initiating ‘The power of information’ scheme.  This is following months of bickering amongst politicians over how to reform the health bill.

Currently there are over 4,000 NHS websites in operation, containing information about patients. These will all be amalgamated into one single main website from 2013. Within the next three years, patients will be able to go online and access their medical records, book appointments and cancel where necessary, order repeat prescriptions and view any test results. In addition to all that, patients will be able to view how well their GP surgery is performing in comparison to other surgeries in the patient’s local area for treating conditions like asthma and heart disease. Patients will have a wide range of access to the clinical outcomes for various operations performed at hospitals, and even view any feedback given.

The Health Secretary commented on the new plans, saying, “Our health and care reforms are about making life easier for people.  If people are going to be able to choose, with their doctor, which hospital will provide them with the best care they will need all the latest information.  Our plans will ensure that they get this from their doctors as well as online from websites and cutting edge apps.  By pushing ahead with our information revolution we will ensure that every NHS patient will be able to say that ‘no decision about me was made without me’”.

“The internet has revolutionised how people shop, bank and travel, and for too long health and care services have not been part of that revolution.  Our strategy proposals will ensure that these services will become easier to understand, easier to access and will drive up standards of care”.

Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, has strongly backed the proposals, saying “Information is critical to the transformation of the NHS.  To get the best outcomes for our patients we must enable them to make informed decisions about their care and wellbeing – be that choice of service or how to best manage their own health. Alongside that, publication of information and data, openness and transparency will support us to drive improvement and innovation across the country, as everyone will be able to see for themselves the outcomes achieved for our patients”.

Most changes will be implemented on a local basis, with healthcare professionals working closely with the voluntary sector to care for the needs of those who do not have access to a computer or the internet, or do not own a smartphone. The Government will not pressurise local doctors on what Information Technology they need to improve the quality of care, and will be flexible on allowing the doctors and nurses to decide what they need. One creative solution could be for remote monitoring of patients with long term conditions, helping the patients manage their health.

At Medical Specialists Pharmacy we always strive to make life easier for our patients and be as efficient as possible, offering the very latest products and services. This is why back in April we started to provide NHS services for our patients. If you have obtained an NHS prescription from your GP and you are too busy to go to a pharmacy to hand your NHS prescription in, we might be of help to you as we can arrange to dispense your medication and have it delivered to you. In addition, we have introduced the NHS Electronic Prescription Service and operate with the very latest technology, EPS2. This service makes it easier and more convenient to get your medicines, as your prescriptions can be sent electronically by your GP to Medical Specialists Pharmacy and we can dispense your medicine to you through our delivery system. You need to choose a place for your doctor to send your prescription electronically. This is called ‘nomination’. You can nominate Medical Specialists Pharmacy to dispense your medicine, by downloading and completing our nomination form and giving it to your surgery.

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