A new website called My Health, likely to be run by an independent contractor, looks set to be used to give the public access to GP records.
Plans for the project are revealed in a job description for a senior post at the NHS Commissioning Board, seen by HSJ. The board is currently appointing to a series of senior posts, including several in its patients and information directorate.
The posts are currently open to applications from senior NHS and Department of Health staff whose current jobs will be abolished under the government’s reorganisation.
A description for the director of customer experience post – with a salary of £115,000 – says the candidate will “develop and deliver an innovative and comprehensive strategy for customer relations”.
It says the role “will include the development of ‘My Health’ – a digital multi-channel business development to allow patients to access their own health records and link these to functional transactions, including booking appointments and ordering prescriptions”.
My Health will be the responsibility of the board, but one senior health information source said the running of the website was highly likely to be contracted out.
DH officials have previously said that HealthSpace – the current NHS-run and little used website for accessing records – is to be closed.
Last month’s government information strategy, The Power of Information, said there would be a new “comprehensive online ‘portal’ – bringing together the best of the relevant information and online services currently provided by the existing national web services: NHS Choices, NHS Direct online, NHS 111 online content and HealthSpace”.
The strategy said the website would “act as a ‘front door’ to the best information on health and care available on the internet”. However, it did not name the new website or confirm that the commissioning board would establish it. It is not clear when it will be set up but the government has said all patients will be able to access their GP record – and to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions – by 2015.
Outsourcing firm Capita is currently contracted to run NHS Choices but HSJ understands its contract is up for renewal next April.
Other senior posts which the board is currently appointing to include directors of patient safety, patient experience, patient and public voice, and customer relations.
They are all expected to have a role in developing the public and patients’ use of healthcare information, and implementing the information strategy.