Hold the music: Patient Access lets users in the U.K. skip the phone on the way to the doctor

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s surprising that a U.K. patient survey conducted by the NHS last year found that 79% of patients prefer to ring up a receptionist at their general practitioner’s office to book an appointment – and suffer the inevitable hold music – rather than logging on to a website or app and doing it themselves (10%).

One reason could be that a lot of GP surgeries in England don’t have a website that lets patients book appointments. Another is that some websites, when they do exist, are clunky and hard to use. And older people are often more comfortable using the phone to speak to someone. These reasons and more all contribute to the same problem: Local NHS services are not embracing technology fast enough.

Patient Access, a website that lets people book GP appointments, order prescriptions, view their medical record and message their GP surgery using whatever device they want, wherever they are, is aiming to change that.

“About 62% of GP practices use Patient Access,” says Sarah Jarvis MBE, the clinical director behind the service. “They’re using it to manage their services, manage appointments, take in repeat medications, consolidate a patient’s personal health record and even conduct video consultations.”

Visit Microsoft News Centre UK to learn how Patient Access is helping patients hang up the phone.