Patients' Access to their Notes

Patients with online accounts such as through the NHS App will be able to read new entries in their health record.

From April 2022, the IT system configuration for GP surgeries is being changed so that existing online users have access to their future, or prospective, health information entered after this change is made. New online users set up after this date will also receive this level of access by default. Patients need to be aware that General Practices (GP Surgeries) will be able to customise or remove access for individuals if having access to future, or perspective, GP health information is inappropriate. 

This is an NHS England and NHS Improvement programme supported by NHS Digital.

The change supports NHS Long Term Plan commitments to provide patients with digital access to their health records. It means GPs will need to consider the impact of each entry, including documents and test results, as they add them to a patient’s record. Patients will not see personal information – such as positive test results – until they have been checked and filed, giving clinicians the chance to contact and speak to patients first.

We also aim to enable patients to request their historic coded records in 2022 through the NHS App.

Research shows that increasing numbers of patients want easy access to health information about them, including 80% of the 26 million NHS App users. Better access supports patients as partners in managing their health, and can help reduce queries to general practice such as on negative test results and referral letters.

The change also supports existing GMS contract requirements to promote and offer online patient access to all future information, unless exceptional circumstances apply.

This change will apply to the NHS App and all other approved patient facing services apps that provide record access.