Accessing your GP-held records via the NHS app or NHS website

Accessing your GP-held records via the NHS app or NHS website

As your GP practice, we have been asked by NHS England to provide you with, no later than 31 October 2023, access to your full primary care medical record going forward via the NHS app (and NHS website) if you have a suitable NHS login

Your GP  or primary care medical record contains consultation notes based on conversations between you, your GP and their team:  This will include medicines prescribed to you and test results if requested by your GP; Allergies; Vaccines; and your medical conditions along with documents that may have been sent from local hospitals, clinics or other agencies, eg the police.

Please note this access is only to your prospective primary care record. This does not include hospital records or results of investigations requested anywhere else as these are not available on the primary care record.

There is likely to be sensitive and personal information within your medical record.

We are supportive of providing you with access to your record, but we wish to do this safely and make you aware that this is happening so that you can opt out, if you so wish.

It is important that you understand the risks that may be involved in having such confidential data either on your smartphone with the NHS app installed or online if other people might have access to that information through your devices.

The government has been clear that if a patient does not wish to have access, then we do not have to provide it.

Who have we Opted out and Why

Emsworth Medical Practice currently has a responsibility to ensure that your health data remains secure and protects all our patients from potential harm.

To protect some patient groups we have made the decision to restrict access to records for those groups of people who may be vulnerable based on data held on the primary care record.

We have made the decision that vulnerable groups who are likely to be at increased risk of coercion to allow access to their online record include, but may not be restricted to the following:

  • 16 to 17 year olds including Looked After Children, Care Leavers and children on Child Protection Plans
  • Victims of any type of abuse, but especially Domestic Abuse, Modern Slavery, Trafficking and exploitation of any kind
  • Adults with safeguarding information coded on their record such as ‘Adult Safeguarding Concern’
  • Known perpetrators of abuse
  • Those with learning disabilities
  • Those with autism
  • Those with dementia
  • Asylum Seekers and those whose immigration status is uncertain
  • Those with serious mental health conditions
  • Those with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other vulnerable groups including those who are homeless and those with substance misuse issues
  • Prisoners, including those who are about to/have just gone into prison, and those who have come out of prison.
  • Patients who are blind/visually impaired, who have poor literacy, who use different languages other than English, who communicate in different ways, who have other accessibility issues such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

We understand that there may be some patients who fall into these groups and will have had access restricted.

We would like to reassure you that this is for protection only to reduce the risk of abuse of that health record.

If you have identified that your access has been restricted and would like Emsworth Medical Practice to review this decision please complete the OPT IN FORM.

The reasons we have made these decisions would be for example if you are in a difficult or pressured relationship, you may prefer your records to remain accessible only to those treating you, with them not appearing on your smartphone or online.

This is one reason why we have asked if you wish to opt-out, or have it switched off for the time being.

For those who would like access, we will offer prospective information from 31/10/23 as required and this will allow you to see new entries made on your record or documents added to the record but will not allow you to see past information.

OPTING OUT – Why might you consider this?

Emsworth Medical Practice wants to ensure that if you DO NOT WANT your record to be visible online it is important that you let us help you and we can restrict access to your record.

It is important to let us know as soon as possible if you wish to opt-out of Access to records by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

This can always be reconsidered in the future if your circumstances alter.

Please review the list above and decide if you feel that access may be negative for you.

For example, sometimes people with a mental health condition might prefer not to see documents that remind them of difficult times in their life.

Letters from mental health teams sometimes go into detail about past events, and great care would be needed in deciding whether you would want to see these letters. It is possible for individual items to be hidden at your request or you may decide that you would prefer to decline access to your record to maintain your data security.

Great care is also needed in case private details might cause harm at home, should people in a difficult or pressured relationship be forced to show their medical record to an abusive partner.

Anyone in such a position should make this clear to us at the practice, so we can take steps to keep your information safe.

This might mean removing access through the NHS app, or through a careful process where we hide sensitive things.

The easiest way to get access is to create an NHS login through the NHS app.

Although you can also access your GP records via the internet on a computer, the first bit is easiest if done through a smartphone.

If you don’t have one, you may have a family member or friend you trust who can help you.

If you use the NHS app, you’ll have to set up an account using a unique e-mail address and then ‘authenticate’ yourself to the NHS system to prove you are who you say you are.

This will involve confirming your name, date of birth and contact details.

The NHS login has several levels of authentication and to gain access to your records you’ll need the highest level of authentication.

This generally involves you recording a short video of yourself to prove you are a real person as well as uploading a copy of a suitable identification document.

Once you have suitably authenticated yourself to the NHS app and created your NHS login you need to remain mindful of the risks associated with access and the importance of not sharing passwords or having them stored in your smartphone if you think other people might want to see them without your permission.


If you wish to Opt out please complete the form below: