Proxy access was developed to allow someone other than the patient to access and manage parts of their GP online services account, usually with the patient’s explicit consent. The proxy user is given their own online access account. The proxy user does not have to be a registered patient at the same practice, but must be registered for online services on the GP system and always use their own login credentials.
Depending on the level of access, proxy users could
- Book appointments
- Order repeat medication
- View medical record (where applicable)
1. 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.
2. 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.
- 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
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
4. How do I set up Proxy Access?
- For patients aged 16 and over: People aged 16 or above are assumed to be competent to make an independent and informed decision about whether to ask for someone to have proxy access to their GP Online Services and record, unless there is an indication that they are not.
The patient who wishes to give access and the party who wishes to be granted access must attend the practice physically to complete the 'Proxy Access' consent form. All parties must bring formal photographic ID (i.e. passports) in order to adhere to information security guidelines.
'Proxy Access' consent forms must be completed physically at the practice with a staff member present to ensure no coercion or force.
The patient can contact us at any point to amend or revoke access.
- *For patients aged 11-16: The patient who wishes to give access and the party who wishes to be granted access must attend the practice physically to complete the 'Proxy Access' consent form. All parties must bring photo ID (i.e. passports) in order to adhere to information security guidelines.
Our reception team will speak to the patient privately to discuss proxy access and provide the patient with an understanding behind this.
*It is important to note that the age at which a young person becomes competent to make autonomous decisions about their healthcare, including who should have access to their GP online services, will vary from person to person. Where a parent, guardian or carer has proxy access to the online services of a young person after their 11th birthday, the child’s competence to make an independent and informed decision about proxy access may change.
The competent young person may decide to:
- Stop their parents’ proxy access to their online services, where the parents still have access after the 11th birthday
- Allow their parents to have access to their online services, or to allow limited proxy access to specific services, perhaps restricting proxy access to only book appointments or request repeat prescriptions
- Request access to their online services where nobody currently has access
- Switch off all online access, including parental proxy access, until such time as the young person chooses to request access.
The access will automatically revoke on the child’s 16th birthday.
- For patients aged under 11: Before a child develops the capacity to make informed choices about their healthcare, including using GP Online Services safely, the usual position would be for someone with parental responsibility for the child to control access to GP Online Services.
If you are the patient’s parent or legal guardian, please speak with our reception team to request proxy access. It is essential that we establish that you have parental responsibility; you may be asked to present proof.
If access is granted, this will be available to you until they reach 11 years of age. Once they reach this age, if both parties wish for proxy access to be re-instated, the patient and the representative must attend the practice with photo ID to complete a consent form. This is a national standard imposed by NHS England to protect the confidentiality rights of young people.
5. How you can stop the service
You can choose to stop access to your GP online services from your chosen person at any time. To end the service, please contact the practice and inform us that you would like to switch off online access for your chosen person and give them the reason. We will end the chosen person’s access and they will no longer be able to access your online health record.
6. 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.
7. Why your surgery may refuse to give your chosen person access
On rare occasions, we may refuse to allow your chosen person to use GP online services on your behalf. If this happens, we will discuss their reasons with you. Some of the reasons could be:
- 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
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