Changes to Record Access
We are now letting you see all the information within your health record. If you are over 16 and have an online account, such as through the NHS App, NHS website, or other GP online services and apps, you will now automatically be able to see all future information entered on your medical record. Some people can already access this feature, this won’t change for you.
This means that you will be able to see records from your appointments, as well as test results and any letters that are saved on your records. This only applies to records from your doctor (GP), not from hospitals or other specialists, although you will be able to see any letters that hospitals or specialists send to your doctor (GP). You will only be able to see information from 31st October 2023. For most people, access will be automatic, and you won’t need to do anything.
Your doctor (GP) may talk to you to discuss test results before you are able to see some of your information on the app. Your doctor (GP) may also talk to you before you are given full record access to make sure that having access is of benefit to you. If you are concerned that seeing your records is not right for you, you should speak to your practice.
These changes only apply to people with online accounts. If you do not want an online account, you can still access your GP health record by requesting this information via reception. The changes also only apply to personal information about you. If you are a carer and would like to see information about someone you care for, speak to reception staff.
The NHS App, website and other online services are all very secure. You’ll need to make sure you protect your login details. Do not share your password with anyone as they will then have access to your personal information.
If you do not want to see your health record, or if you would like more information about these changes, please speak to a member of the team. You can also read more by going to www.nhs.uk/gp-record.
If you do not already have an existing online account, you can request this by bringing a completed form (below) to the surgery with 2 forms of identification.
Understanding Your Medical Records
Your GP record is to help medical staff look after you. This means that sometimes you may not understand everything you see.
Click here for more information regarding common abbreviations you may find in your medical records.
Below is some information to help you understand your test results. If you have further questions, please speak to a member of our team.
Things to consider:
- It is important to learn what is ‘normal for you’. If you have a long-term illness, your results may be different to other people’s.
- A test result outside the range may not be a problem, these are standard reference ranges.
- Equally, if all results are within the reference range, this does not guarantee there isn’t a concern.
- Not all results are returned to us at the same time, we may be waiting for further results before contacting you.
- Comments may have been added automatically by a laboratory computer, or by a laboratory scientist or doctor. Comments are for the doctor requesting rather than the patient, so they may not be very meaningful to you.
- It is important to follow the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional.
Where are the reference ranges (normal ranges) for tests?
The reference ranges for your tests can be found on your laboratory report.
They are typically found to the right of your results. These are standardised reference ranges, but they will not apply to everyone. They do not take into account things like your gender, age, ethnicity or health conditions. The reference ranges mean a computer may flag a result as out of range or abnormal, but for you this might be a normal result. Whilst the ranges are helpful, it is important to follow the advice of the doctor who interprets the result.
What does it mean if my result is outside the reference range?
Your test results are interpreted by your health care provider within the context of other tests that you have completed.
These results are also measured against other factors like your medical history. The medical significance of a single result that is slightly high or slightly low may be difficult to determine. This is why a doctor may repeat a test, and why they may look at results from your previous tests. However, a result outside the reference range may indicate a problem and warrant further investigation. Your doctor will evaluate your test results in the context of other relevant factors and determine whether a result that falls outside of the reference range presents a significant issue.
If my results are normal, does that mean I have nothing to worry about?
If your results are within normal limits, it’s certainly a good sign.
But one set of tests offers a snapshot of certain aspects of your health rather than a guarantee. There is a lot of overlap among results from healthy people and those with diseases, so there is still a chance that there could be an undetected problem. If you’re trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, take test results that are within range as a good sign, and keep it up. However, normal results do not mean that unhealthy habits will not have consequences in the future. Your health care provider may want to monitor you with a series of tests to make sure you’re still on track and to document any trends. A rise or drop in results, even if they are still within normal limits, could provide meaningful information.
If my result is abnormal, does that mean I have a problem with my health?
Not necessarily. A test result outside the reference range signals to your doctor to further investigate your condition, but it may or may not indicate a specific problem.
You can have a value outside the range and have nothing. It is possible that your result is within that 5% of healthy people who fall outside the statistical reference range. In addition, there are many things that could throw off a test without indicating a major problem, such as not preparing for the test properly. Your doctor may want to rerun the test. Some abnormal results may resolve on their own, especially if they are on the border of the reference range. Your doctor will also seek explanations for an abnormal result. Key points your doctor will consider include how far outside of the reference range the results are and whether repeated tests also produce abnormal results.
What does the doctors’ comment mean?
A glossary of the doctor’s terms:
- Normal no action: This means that the doctor has looked at the result and deemed it to be within the normal and no further investigation or treatment is needed.
- Satisfactory: This means that the doctor has looked at the result and deemed it to be just outside of the normal range and the result is not concerning. No further investigation or treatment is needed.
- Borderline: This means there are some minor changes we need to monitor, we will contact you to arrange any further investigation or treatment.
- Abnormal but expected: This means there may be some expected abnormalities in your results e.g. showing infection. We will contact you to arrange any further investigation or treatment.
- Abnormal: If these results affect your treatment plan, we will contact you to arrange any further investigation or treatment.
- Specimen lost / unusable: Unfortunately, very occasionally samples are lost or damaged. Sometimes there is a delay in samples reaching the laboratory which can affect the quality of the specimen making it unusable. On other occasions an incorrect bottle or label may have been used. Occasionally an incorrect test is requested in which case a repeat may not be needed. The doctor will usually ask you to repeat the test.
For more information, follow the links below:
Appointments and Prescriptions
If you are registered with our GP surgery, you can access online services. Online services allow you to:
- book, check or cancel appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional
- order repeat prescriptions
- see parts of your health record, including information about medicines, vaccinations and test results
You can also start using online services through the NHS app without the need to register at the surgery. All you need is a camera phone and photo ID. To download the app on your phone click here for Apple devices, or click here for Android devices.
Monkseaton Medical Centre is now offering a new way of contacting your doctor online, called eConsult. This allows you to:
- Request advice and treatment from the practice online
- Get self-help advice for hundreds of common conditions
- Order repeat prescriptions or ask for a fit note.
Only some medical problems are suitable for an eConsult. If you are thinking of contacting your GP surgery this way please check here to see if your GP will be able to deal with your concerns in an eConsult.
If you want advice from your doctor, you can submit a short form and even a photograph (if relevant) about your symptoms or condition which is sent to the practice. You don’t need to wait for an appointment, and you don’t need to wait on the phone. Either click on the pop-up window on this page, or visit patients.econsult.health.
Help for Those Who Need Support Going Online
We are offering online services at the practice to create a more convenient service for you. However, we are very aware that some people may require support with using these services.
There are a lot of places where people can learn how to use the internet. Many are provided by local authorities, colleges and charities. A good place to start is the local library, but there are many other places to learn for free, such as:
- Learn My Way, who have UK online centres which help people learn how to use the internet and manage their health online. Find your nearest local venue by visiting their website.
- Good Things Foundation in partnership with NHS Digital is running a programme to ensure people have the skills they need to access relevant health information and health services online.
Of course, as always, you can also ask at our reception desk if you would like support with any of our online services.