Changing the conversation about health

Patient health record access through a Partnership of Trust

CoM Tags:

health record, patient access, Haughton Thornley Medical Centres,

Haughton Thornley Medical Centres have created a structure for as many patients as possible to access their health records via the internet.

They are also encouraged to use transactional services and the practice-based web portal to support their ongoing health needs, alongside traditional face to face or telephone based services.  The way the service is managed supports a partnership of trust between patient and clinician.



Year established
Number of staff
Number of users
Is there a charge to users?
Free at the point of delivery to all patients and carers.
How do you make your project sustainable environmentally and financially?
The only extra costs of the project are those of hosting and sustaining the website.  Otherwise the project has been developed and supported to date by the practice using current practice funding.
User demographics
This web page gives the latest breakdown of the types of patients who have signed up to use the service.
How is the project innovative?
The challenge: Patients and carers want:• great care
• closer to themselves
• do more for themselves if supportedAn ageing population with multiple long term conditions means:

• patients and carers are spending more time in healthcare establishments
• needing more medications
• having routine screening or monitoring done
• completing standard questionnaires
• being referred to multiple providers of care for specific assessments and treatments.
• With even less understanding of why patients need this

Clinicians are expected to do more but with the increased complexity of healthcare it is getting harder to do this and have the relevant information present to deliver the right care at the right time with care and compassion at scale

The solution – the Partnership of Trust: Recognise:

• the patient (and carer) are experts in their own illness and how it affects them and their loved ones
• the clinician is an expert in the health problem and its management as well as having local knowledge of services based on their experience
• IT systems support patient and clinician

The practice-based web portal supports patients and clinicians to benefit from each others’ experience and knowledge to optimise healthcare delivery

Patient centred, whole person preventative approach
It is crititcal to make important trusted information available to the patient too so that they can learn more about their own health and what sorts of things they can do to help prevent problems in the future.As well as health gains, the patient may benefit financially. Patients may not need to spend as much time seeing their doctor or nurse because of things they could do for themselves to monitor their own health better.

Read more about the detail of how the system works here

Evidence-informed practice, audit and evaluation
 Our first paper was produced in 2007 written by Dr Hannan and Fred Webber (a patient) entitled “Towards a Partnership of Trust” and promoted by the International Council of Medical and Care Compunetics.Here are the most recent testimonials from patients on the approach we have taken.Here is Picker Institute’s evaluation on the practice approach to enabling Records Access and Understanding.

Here is a radio interview on BBC Radio 4 “You and Yours” when the government announced patients would be able to access their records by 2015 and how Margaret Rickson, a patient of the practice and Dr Hannan talked about what this policy may mean for patients and clinicians around the land as well as links to the Department of Health website

Here is a study we conducted in the practice on what patients, clinicians and staff thought about patient access and understanding to the records and what we learned from this survey.

Research papers in peer-reviewed journals:

Hannan A. Providing patients online access to their primary care computerized medical records: a case study of sharing and caring. Informatics in Primary Care 2010; 18:41-9

Hannan A. The paradigm shift in healthcare — Overcoming challenges in giving patients access to their electronic records. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. 2007; 1(1): p. 7-19.

Hannan A, Webber F. Towards a Partnership of Trust. Medical & Care Compunetics. 2007; 4: p. 108-116.

Multi-disciplinary collaboration, communication and professional practice
Dr Hannan was one of the original co-authors of guidance for clinicians to enable patient access to records. This guidance was based on discussions he had with Dr Richard Fitton and Dr Brian Fisher hosted at the General Medical Council offices in London with a very wide variety of groups including the Royal Colleges, the BMA, the Medical Defence Organisations, over 40 different patient groups and specifically patients with access to their GP electronic health records from Haughton Thornley Medical Centres and others too (see page vi and Appendix 1, page 22)This guidance is still the only one of its kind anywhere in the world and which has had such a far-reaching group of people involved in its making – many of whom had real-life experience.A number of patients and Dr Hannan have been on the radio, on TV, in newspapers and on national, regional and local conferences and other platforms informing others about what we are doing.
Some quotes from participants


“This is an excellent website with lots of information at your finger tips. I am pleased my local surgery is going forward with technology, and family and friends who are not part of the surgery are very impressed when I tell them about the website and wish their surgery did the same for them.” (S P – patient of Haughton Thornley Medical Centres)“I am thirty something working mum looking after a small child, a part-time job, a husband, a house…..the list goes on and on. I also have Diabetes, an under active thyroid, fertility problems, suffer with depression, asthma and recently started medication to protect my kidneys! I don’t have time to be ill! In 2007 I was introduced to my electronic medical records access. I now order my prescriptions, book my appointments to see the doctor, check my test results and sometimes I even go over the conversation I had in my consultation with the doctor when I feel I need to clarify issues to understand my medical needs better. I feel I am taking a positive step towards maintaining a healthy life, understanding my medical needs and doing it all on MY time, when it’s CONVENIENT for me.I shop online, I communicate online, I educate myself online, I control my finances online. In 2007 it’s only right that I look after myself ONLINE” (C M – patient of Haughton Thornley Medical Centres)
Contact details
Dr Amir Hannan
Haughton Thornley Medical Centres
Thornley St
SK14 1JYt: 0161 367 7910