Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Practices

Technology and Practices

Technology is not the whole answer to making the NHS more efficient but it can be a key ingredient.

As the Kings Fund suggest
“Technological advances offer significant opportunities to improve health care but are not a silver bullet for the pressures facing the NHS.  New technology could fundamentally change the way that NHS staff work – in some cases requiring entirely new roles to be created. The impact of these changes should not be underestimated.”
“What will new technology mean for the NHS and its patients?” The King’s Fund website. Retrieved 2nd May 2023
What will new technology mean for the NHS and its patients? | The King’s Fund

Some of the challenges

GP practices understand that not all patients are happy with all the new technological advances and one of the challenges is when GP practices are asked to offer multiple consultation routes which include telephone, face to face, video and online consultations, how this complexity is combined with the limited resources available while maintaining a good patient experience. Different practices try to answer this question in different ways depending on their resources and their patient population, there is no right answer.

The other challenge is how hospitals communicate information on your hospital data (consultations and investigations). This is likely to become more available to you online, however at the same time a GP practice will not have the capacity nor will it be their responsibility to explain and plan actions from your hospital data. This is explained further, including how you can contact the hospital directly if you need information on any investigations organised by the hospital, see under

NHS Digital

NHS Digital is the organisation which designs, develops and operates the national IT and data services supporting the NHS
Data and technology that improves lives  Home – NHS Digital

There is local support to help with learning how to use a computer and the internet found under

important information technology which can support you in your GP practice

The NHS account (either NHS APP or NHS website)
This can facilitate your care in many areas including with online access to your medical record (GP health record), booking or cancelling appointments, access to online advice from 111, and more. The NHS account is likely to undergo further developments which may give you access to other NHS services. There is further information on the functionality and how you can access your NHS account below.

Online access to your medical record
What online access to your medical records means and the advantages of such access is described below. In your practice section of the website under “Online access to your medical records” you can find out what are the common methods used by patients in the practice to access their medical record.

Online consultations
What an online consultation is and some of its advantages are described below. In your practice section of the website under “online consultations” you can find out what the practice’s provider of online consultations is and how to start an online consultation.

Videos and podcasts

On the videos and podcasts page there are links to some relevant videos and podcasts covering the topic of digital support.

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