Ordering repeat prescriptions and booking GP appointments online: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02630
Date received: 2 November 2017
Date responded: 28 November 2017

Information requested

Progress on what the Scottish Government has done to ensure GP surgeries in Scotland allow for patients to book repeat prescriptions and some appointments online. You asked for data outlining what percentage of GP surgeries allow patients to a) order repeat prescriptions online, b) book some appointments online and c) offer both repeat prescriptions and appointment online.


The eHealth Strategy 2014-2017 published by the Scottish Government in March 2014 encourages all GP practices in Scotland to offer repeat prescribing and appointment booking as online services, with a view to at least 90% of practices offering this service by the end of 2017.

In 2015 the Scottish Government announced the Primary Care Digital Services Development Fund of £6 million, later increased by a further £2 million, which is being used to fund developments such as online appointment booking, digital infrastructure improvements, and enhanced / innovative digital services such as on-line triage. We completed an analysis of GP processes and systems around Scotland and provided the Boards with a framework to ensure this funding is used effectively and targeted at meeting local needs. It is a key stage in the journey towards the digital transformation of primary care services which is crucial to safeguard their longer-term sustainability and efficiency.

The table below compiles data provided by the fourteen territorial NHS Boards to the Scottish Government on progress made with the percentage of GP Practices in Scotland offering on-line appointments and/or repeat prescriptions as of 31st August 2017.

The table should be referred to in line with the following points:

  • On 31st August 2017, there were 948 GP Practices in Scotland eligible for support from the Primary Care Digital Services Development Fund

  • The table shows the total percentage of GP Practices per NHS Board that are using the additional online functionality of their core IT system to offer online appointment booking and/or repeat prescriptions for patients, or are doing this via an alternative functionality on their Practice website.

  • On the basis of the figures per Board in the table below, the national percentage of GP Practices in Scotland offering on-line appointments and/or repeat prescriptions on 31st August 2017 was 86%.

  • The figures given are the latest ones available. A further increase in some of the figures is expected during the remainder of 2017.

  • We do not currently hold separate figures for online appointment booking or repeat prescriptions.

  • The figures have been gathered from NHS Boards to provide internal management information. They are not officially approved statistics and therefore no guarantee can be given with regard to the accuracy of the figures.

31 August 2017  
Ayrshire & Arran 85%
Borders 91%
Dumfries & Galloway 85%
Fife 93%
Forth Valley 94%
Grampian 89%
Greater Glasgow & Clyde 90%
Highland 47%
Lanarkshire 90%
Lothian 98%
Orkney 100%
Shetland 50%
Tayside 91%
Western Isles 56%

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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