Off topic for UK patients: Using (EMIS) Patient Access with your GP Surgery.

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Using (EMIS) Patient Access with your GP Surgery. 

Patient Access lets you use the online services of your local practice. These may include arranging appointments, repeat medication, secure messages, medical record and updating your details. 

What use are Forum members making of patient access? 

Our GP practice had an online system that allowed me to make appointments, request repeat and other prescriptions and see medical records including referrals, test results with GP comments. There were some other items that they had not activated. 

Recently they said that they were going over to a new improved system and the old one was discontinued and the practice more or less came to a halt while it was installed and staff learnt it.  

We  found that most of the old items were not available or activated. The worst part was that if you had an appointment with a nurse it did not allow you make an appointment with a doctor. So patients with regular appointments with a nurse for dressings or INR were left in limbo. This week we found that even our two minute appointments for Flu jabs prevented making a GP appointment. 

I had initially asked the practice manager about the lack of facilities in the new system. She told me that was how the system is and they cannot make any changes to it and that the same applies to all practices in the area. 

I looked at the EMIS web site and found instructions for patients on how to use the system and it showed options for making separate appointments with a nurse, GP or others. I E-Mailed the practice again with a link to the EMIS link but was again told that they cannot make changes to the system. I then had correspondence  with EMIS who said in separate replies: 

“Your surgery can contact us directly for any assistance with your account.  Please advise your surgery because they are the only people who can make changes to your account” 

“Your practice do control how they use the system in the best interest of their patients so you will need to contact them back as there is limited more we can advise”   

I forwarded that to the practice manager and await her reply. Of course from previous experience I know that they are not very computer literate.

 

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    I have a similar problem with my surgery. Former limit of four appintments including nurse recently reduced to two.
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    • Posted

      Although my one has denied it I feel that are trying to restrict our choice. It presumably varies from practice to practice rather than from area to area. We are in East Sussex.

      I did point out to them that using the online system reduces their receptionists work load. I have found that if I phone to  cancel or rearrange an appointment it has not happened.

      We went in to arrange for flu jabs and were offered a Saturday morning but then the receptionist offered us ones for that afternoon that we accepted. I noticed the Saturday one was still on line and phoned to cancel it. I looked again later and it was still there so used the online system to cancel it.

      In the same phone call I had asked if a referral had been made for an MRI scan and was told that inquiries like that are only dealt with between 2 and 3 pm.

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  • Posted

    I'm in central Scotland. I do suspect that someone is trying to make it harder to book appointments on-line - I guess some patients may be making multiple appointments of which they only actually attend one - and may or may not cancel the rest. But I haven't got the time and/or courage to ask questions!

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    • Posted

      As I was told as a child in Scotland " Don't ask, don't get" So that and the motto on my school blazer badge "Persevere" has been my attitude ever since. The last doctor I had in Edinburgh who could not get a 26 week hospital appointment brought forward said use patient power and phone the consultants secretary as they don't like that.

      I did and had an appointment as first patient of the day the following Tuesday. When quoted a 16 week wait for a physio appointment I contacted my MSP who was the Health Minister. He told me he had not realised the waiting time was so long! I went to the clinic and pointed to the sign saying that 119 patients had not turned up last month and said that I would for the next no show and have their appointment. They said that they could not do that as an initial appointment needed a longer one than a follow up one but they would try to contact me with an earlier one.

      When I got home there was a message on the answering machine offering 2.30 that afternoon or 8.45 the next morning. Patient Power is was the best advice I've ever had from a doctor and I still use it unfortunately too many other now do as well.    

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