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425,000 NHS patients use online GP registration service in first year

More than 425,000 patients have used a new national online service to register with a GP in its first year.

Almost half (48%) of all patients using the online tool registered outside normal GP surgery opening hours, taking full advantage of improved accessibility and convenience.

Two thirds (68%) of patients using the service over the past 12 months were switching GPs. Other submissions included patients registering with a GP for the first time, newborns and ex-military patients.

‘We’re pleased to see one in five GP surgeries are now part of the national online Register with a GP surgery service, giving patients an improved experience and helping to reduce known barriers that exist with GP registration,’ said Stephen Koch, NHS England’s Executive Director of Platforms.

‘Patients no longer have to visit a surgery to register as they can access the service any time, outside working hours, using the internet or NHS App. It is free for GP surgeries to use and saves them time by making the process much simpler.’

Many GP surgeries still use paper forms, requiring patients to visit surgeries to collect paperwork. The new online service has been shown to save GP surgery staff up to 15 minutes per registration by helping to reduce paperwork and admin time.

The service invites patients to go online at any time of day to find a local GP and register without having to visit in person, making the process easier for both patients and GP surgeries.

‘At a time when record numbers of patients are coming forward to see their GP, this is one of the many ways the NHS is transforming the way practices work to make it as easy as possible for people to get the care they need,’ said Dr Amanda Doyle, National Director of Primary Care and Community Services for NHS England.

‘It helps free up the time of busy practice staff so they can spend more time focusing on patients, and less time filling in paperwork.’