A doctor working at a practice in Hampshire, Dr Neil Bhatia, has warned that NHS England must do more to support surgeries across the UK in expanding digital services available to patients to protect user confidence.
From April next year, surgeries are expected to begin offering online appointment booking and patient records. However, Bhatia claims that GPs have been left to their own devices to ensure systems are implemented in time and are being given little central support to ensure they are not overwhelmed by demand as their new systems go live.
NHS England has maintained it is committed providing support and guidance to GPs in order to help overcome potential challenges in implementing expanded digital services, having recently released its interactive Patient Online Support and Resources Guide.
He said: “Every GP is worried that these digital tools may overwhelm practices, leading to people losing confidence in the system if they cannot access the services they need. One can see in the distance potential efficiencies from these services. NHS England has to work with surgeries in order to migrate these services. Things can’t always be brought online straight away.”