NHS patients in England are set to have access to online medical records by April 2015, claims Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Hunt told delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday that England would be the first country in the world to take “this huge step.”
“Today I can confirm that by April next year, every patient in England will be able to access their own medical record online – the first country in the world to take this huge step,” the Secretary claimed.
“It means you will no longer have to pay to access your medical record. You’ll be able to see it and show it to anyone you choose.
“You’ll find it easier to do detailed research about your condition and easier to challenge decisions, because the boss is not the doctor – it’s you,” he added.
Hunt also took the opportunity to talk about the new MyNHS site that launched last week with the intention of improving transparency in UK healthcare.
“This summer we became the first country in the world to publish detailed information about safety, waiting times, patient experience and food for every major hospital,” he claimed.
“On the new MyNHS website, we’ll go further,” he added.
The Health Secretary stressed the important of sharing information and integrated health systems.
“For me the point of the NHS is to make sure everyone gets truly personal care from people who know about them, know about their condition, know about their care plan,” Hunt claimed.
“As a first step that needs the integration of the health and social care systems and for the first time ever this year it’s happening,” he added.
Hunt explained that 150 local authorities are currently working with their local NHS Trust on Better Care plans that aim to pool commissioning, reduce emergency admissions and share medical records.