NHS England saving time for both practices and patients

NHS England has used OS data to make registering for a GP easier for everyone.

3 minute read
NHS England provide health care services across the country, free at the point of care.

After a joint review by the NHS and Department for Health and Social Care, results found that GP registration was a high volume and difficult task – for both GP practice staff and patients. NHS England wanted to improve the way people register.

NHS England has now launched a new online service to make registering for a GP easier for everyone. Available through GP surgeries’ own websites, the NHS Find a GP service, and the NHS App, the service has already registered hundreds of thousands of patients.

"We’re pleased to see a growing number of GP practices are coming on board, helping them save time and improve patient records."

Stephen Koch, Executive Director for Platforms at NHS Digital

Pilot studies show the service reduces staff processing time by up to 15 minutes per application, while giving patients an easier alternative to getting registered. The new service also benefits GP surgeries by improving the quality of patient information received by the NHS, reducing errors and duplicated records.

The new service improves accessibility too, by allowing those supporting vulnerable people to register on their behalf.

GP surgeries already on board
More than
online patient registrations

OS Places API has been integrated with the NHS App to verify patient addresses against AddressBase Premium, and automatically check if users live in the catchment area for a practice – making it quicker and easier for people to find and register with their nearest GP.

The system then emails the information to a GP in a format compatible with their IT systems. It’s fully integrated with NHS login, matches patients to NHS numbers, and is compatible with translator services.

OS Places API will also enable NHS England to capture patient’s Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) for the first time, helping to tackle the issue of capturing poor address information through the patient registration process.

More accurate location data will help NHS England plan, research, and improve the services it delivers to patients, including the ability to respond quickly to major health threats.

"A national online registration service standardises the process for practices and removes the need to request documentation from patients. We have worked with charities such as Groundswell and Doctors of the World on the design, using feedback from those who are most at risk of exclusion and have the poorest health outcomes."

Dr Kiren Collison, GP and Interim Medical Director of Primary Care, NHS England

Explore a healthier place.

NHS England are members of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) which provides free access to a range of Ordnance Survey (OS) services, including the OS Places API.

The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement

Ordnance Survey and the Geospatial Commission

The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) is a contract between Ordnance Survey and the Geospatial Commission, on behalf of the public sector in England, Wales, and Scotland. It's the route for public sector member organisations to access, use and share our ever-evolving location data.

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey

Our highly accurate geospatial data and printed maps help individuals, governments and companies to understand the world, both in Britain and overseas.

Products and solutions featured in this blog

  • OS Places API

    Perform accurate geocoding and reverse geocoding with our secure, scalable, and resilient address API.

  • AddressBase Premium

    An addressing gazetteer offering full lifecycle information of a property that can be used within geographical information systems & database systems.