Giving another person access to your GP online services
Did you know that you can choose to give another person access to your GP online services on your behalf? You don’t need to know how to use these services or have a computer yourself to give another person access.
Who can have access?
You choose who you want to give access to. This could be your carer, partner, parent or another family member. You can also give access to more than one person. Giving access to another person is your choice. No-one can go to your GP surgery and ask for access to your online services without your permission.
You also choose which online services you want each person to use. These are booking appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and looking at your GP record. You decide whether to let them use one, two or all of the services on your behalf.
Why you may want to give another person access
You may wish to allow another person to use your online services for different reasons. For example:
- You are very unwell or just need help managing your health
- You have a long term condition ,for example diabetes, heart disease, asthma or high blood pressure and would like support with checking test results, ordering repeat prescriptions and understanding your treatment
- You are finding it more difficult to look after yourself, for example due to memory issues or speech difficulties
- You have learning difficulties and want someone else to help you understand your health
- You have a carer who can help you manage your health
- You may be planning for the future or choosing someone to hold lasting power of attorney for health and social care for you
- You are a young person and would like your parent or guardian to look after your health. Some surgeries only allow this for children under the age of 12
- You work away from home or are just busy and need help with booking appointments or ordering repeat prescriptions.
- You are not comfortable with using computers, smart phones, or tablets
For more information on GP online services for carers, see our leaflets ‘GP online services for carers including young carers’ and ‘Giving employed carers access to your GP online services’. These can be found at Getting started with GP online services.
Before giving another person access, you should think about what the benefits will be for you. If you cannot think of any, then you should think very carefully whether allowing them access is the right thing to do. Some of the benefits are:
- You have peace of mind that someone is supporting you with managing your health
- The person you choose can help you make sure the information your surgery has about you is correct, for example your medication and allergies.
- You know that someone else understands your medical information and can provide information when you are unable to. This could be when you are unconscious or too unwell to speak or when you need help explaining or understanding something
- You can benefit from the convenience of using GP online services even if you do not use a computer or do not have access to the internet
- One member of the family can book appointments for everyone in the household and make sure the appointments fit with your family activities
If you have a carer, using GP online services can save them time allowing them to spend more time looking after your needs.
What other patients who use this service had to say
‘I access my son’s online services to order his repeat prescriptions, it is definitely worthwhile and saves a trip to the surgery. As long as I can remember my login details, it is easy to use. I use this service every couple of months when prescriptions are due.’
Andy, Street Lane Practice.
‘My daughter having access to my GP records gives me peace of mind and the knowledge that I am being cared for.’
Freda, Rotherham Road Medical Centre.
‘This online system is brilliant and means I do not have to waste valuable doctors’ time phoning the practice, which is beneficial for all patients at the practice. I can login once a week to see if we have any issues with my three children. The system is secure with passwords and usernames which can be changed at any time for security purposes. I would recommend to all parents and patients that this is the best system to use for all
GP records of your children. A must have item for all parents and patients.’
Mr Thomas, Street Lane Practice.
How it works
The recommended and safest way to give another person access to your online services is for them to have their own username and password. If you use online services yourself, you should not share your username and password with anyone. If you share your username and password, your surgery cannot tell whether you or someone else accessed your online services. This may be a problem if someone else misuses your login details and your surgery has to look into this.
How to sign up
The steps below show how you can give another person access:
- You contact your surgery to let them know you would like to give your chosen person access to your GP online services.You may also choose to register for online services for yourself if you do not already use them
- The Practice will give your chosen person a short form to fill in. You will also need to sign to confirm you agree with the information on the form. You can also choose whether you only want them to book appointments or order prescriptions or use all the services on your behalf. It is up to you
- Your chosen person will need to show your surgery their photo ID and proof of address, for example, a passport or photo driving licence and a bank statement or council tax statement. If they don’t have the required ID, speak to staff at the surgery, who may be able to help confirm their identity in another way
- Staff at the Practice will make a decision on whether to give your chosen person access to your GP online services. If we decide not to give them access, we will discuss their reasons with you
- The staff will give your chosen person their own username and password to use to login to your GP online services.
Things to consider before giving another person access
- Is there any information in your records you would not like anyone to see or know about?
- Can you trust the person to keep your information safe and not share it with others or use it without your permission?
- Is any one forcing you into sharing your online services with them or do you think someone could force you to share it with them? If so, we would advise that you do not give them access. If you have any concerns that someone has access to your online records without your permission, speak to your surgery and they can change your password or stop your online services
- How long would you like your chosen person to have access for? This can be for a short time, for example when you are suffering from a certain illness and you need support with managing your health during that time. It can also be ongoing so they can help you for a long period of time. You can discuss this with the Practice.
Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare or court appointed deputy
When a person is unable to make decisions for themselves, another person, usually a partner or close family member can be given legal responsibility over decisions concerning their life by the courts. This is called Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. A person with lasting power of attorney can ask the patient’s surgery for access to their online services. The GP will make a decision whether this should be allowed.
If you know that you would never want a particular person to have access to your online services if you become unable to make your own decisions, you should tell your GP and they will never share them with that person.
Why your surgery may refuse to give your chosen person access
On rare occasions, your GP could refuse to allow your chosen person to use GP online services on your behalf. If this happens, your GP will discuss their reasons with you. Some of the reasons your GP could have are:
- Your GP does not think it is in your best interest for your chosen person to use these services on your behalf
- You or your chosen people have misused online services in the past
- The Practice is concerned that your chosen person will not keep your information safe
- The Practice suspects someone is forcing you to give them permission to use your online services
- You are not able to make decisions for yourself.
Why your surgery can stop the service
- We believe your chosen person is forcing you to share your GP records with them or with another person.
- Your chosen person has misused your GP information
- You are no longer able to understand or remember that you gave your chosen person permission to use online services on your behalf
- You have told the Practice in the past that if you become unable to make decisions for yourself, you do not wish for your chosen person or anyone to have permission to your online services
- You have died.
How you can stop the service
You can choose to take away access to your GP online services from your chosen person at any time.To end the service, you need to let your surgery know you would like them to switch off online access for your chosen person and give them the reason.Your surgery will then stop the service and your chosen person will not be able to use their login details to look at your information.
Why you may want to stop access
Some of the reasons you can choose to end the service are:
- You only needed your chosen person to support you for a short time, for example when you were suffering from a certain illness and you needed help with managing your health during that time
- You want to give this responsibility to another person, for example, if you have a new carer or personal assistant
- Your relationship with your chosen person has broken down
- Your chosen person has misused information in your GP records, for example, they have collected medication in your name or they have shared your private information with someone without your permission.