The Government has announced new measures to put people in greater control of their healthcare.
More data about NHS and social care services is being published to help the public make meaningful choices about where they receive care based on success rates for treatments.
Bringing together health and care information from across the internet, a new online portal will give people access to trusted health and care information in one place. Information will be opened up to consumer groups and IT specialists outside the NHS so they can produce tailored websites and apps for different patients.
Using the NHS will become easier for patients by gaining online access to NHS functions such as booking GP appointments. By 2015 patients will be able to book their GP appointments online, helping to end the '8am rush' for booking GP appointments on the phone. Online services will include:
Repeat prescriptions will be available online
Test results will be made securely available online, ending the wait for a letter in the post
Patients' medical records will be available securely to them online so they can be easily viewed. By 2015 all patients registered with a GP in England will be able to see their own medical records online
In future it will be possible to contact GP surgeries by email, ending the hassle of calling switchboards and trying to find the right person to speak to. Routine tasks that GPs have to do at the moment - like issuing sick notes - will be a lot faster and easier for everyone in future
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
"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.
"It's time to make patient-power a reality and take the hassle out of using the health service."
Visit the Department of Health website for more information.