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Two-thirds of British adults want more from NHS online

Over two-thirds of British adults in a YouGov survey said they want the NHS to start bringing more of its health service online, as it struggles to meet its 2020 target of having all the UK’s health records online.

Conducted in partnership with Trustmarque Solutions, the survey said 96 per cent of British adults either didn’t know or don’t have online records available.

Even though some of the 96 per cent could be tallied up to not knowing, it is still a large percentage of the British public that have no idea if they can access health information online.


Over 75 per cent of the people surveyed said they would like NHS health apps for mobile, and 48 per cent said they would support online video consultations. This would lower the amount of people in a hospital at any one time, although it may require the NHS to hire more online-focused consultants.

The NHS’ reactive approach to new technology puts it on the back foot, while companies like Google, Apple and FitBit design systems to help people get healthier. By adding new systems that can take information from the online records, it could offer even smarter training exercises and diets.

Part of the problem for the NHS right now is scale and cutbacks. 28 per cent of people surveyed said they experienced a delay due to professionals not sharing medical information, something that would be fixed with a single online system. 39 per cent said they had to give medical information twice in 12 months to a professional, despite the NHS only needing medical information once a year.

Even though it would be easy to blame the NHS for the slow rollout, the cutbacks are taking their toll. The Conservatives have attacked the NHS in both campaigns, in an effort to save money, but that only slows down progress in new online initiatives.

The NHS has some areas where it needs downsizing, but the overstretching cuts mean that the NHS cannot hire the best talent for software development. Unless Parliament intends to rollout new incentives for the NHS technology sector, we expect slow results in the next few years. d