GP online services

To deliver the best possible care it is important to be able to offer a modern, convenient and responsive primary care service to patients, their families and carers. Online access for patients has been identified as a key aspect of a modern primary care system. Digital tools can help to improve the quality of care and support patients interested in self-care receive. The RCGP, in partnership with NHS England, is developing resources to help GPs and practice staff guide patients with long-term conditions in the use of digital tools to self-care.

GP online services give patients the option to make appointments, order repeat prescriptions,‘transactional services’. Patients in England can now request access to detailed coded record information in their GP records using their computer, tablet or smartphone rather than having to phone or visit their practice. The RCGP, in partnership with NHS England, recognise the need to support GPs to implement online access within the mandated timeframes. A combination of guidance, support and e-Learning is available to help GPs and practices make the necessary changes.


The GP online services toolkit is currently undergoing revision; the updated version will be available by the end of February 2018. In the interim, guidance material is available on the topics listed below. This guidance has been produced in partnership with NHS England and is intended to support GP Practices offer online services.

Patient Online Getting Started Checklist [PDF]

GP online eLearning modules

There are a series of eLearning modules available via the RCGP eLearning website. These include courses on coercion, identity verification, proxy access, children & young people, overview and benefits protecting patients and practice and online access for clinical care. These modules have been developed in partnership with NHS England.

The guidance is available via the toolkit and additional resources for practices and patients are available on the NHS England website .

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