Asthma patient George Forster is at the forefront of a digital revolution.
The Skelmanthorpe resident is one of the first to take up an online prescription service for his medication.
The government wants everyone in England to have access to the new service. Many GP practices in the Huddersfield area are introducing electronic prescriptions, which will give patients new choices as to where and how they get their prescriptions dispensed.
George, 60, who works as a courier, takes 13 different drugs to manage his asthma and other conditions. He now has them delivered by internet chemist Pharmacy2U.
A patient at Skelmanthorpe Family Doctors, he said he’d found the service easy to use.
“It was a nightmare for me trying to find the time to get to my GP’s to pick up the prescriptions and get them filled at the chemist.
“Now I get my drugs by post in two or three days.
“We’re all used to ordering things over the internet, so why not get your medication that way?”
Online prescriptions is just one of the health services now being offered by computer.
Batley-based NHS community service provider, Locala, last year revealed a £12m plan to allow its nurses to assess patients using webcams and laptop computers.
New mums will be some of the first to move online with the launch of virtual well baby clinics. Locala, a Community Interest Company, has said 10% of patients will use the virtual clinics in the first year of the five-year plan.
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has also launched a ‘Tele-medicine’ service for elderly residents at 15 care homes.
The service will allow care home staff to seek advice from nurses via computer in a bid to avoid unnecessary trips to A&E.
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary chiefs also plan to monitor 24 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients’ vital signs remotely using internet technology.
An independent survey commissioned by the internet chemist, Pharmacy2U, revealed 67% of people in Yorkshire would like to manage their healthcare online.
Julian Harrison, director at Pharmacy2U, said: “The government has set a target for all patients in England to be offered digital services by 2015 – and there is a clear appetite for it.
“In our survey, one in five patients in Yorkshire said they found it difficult to get to a pharmacy to claim a prescription and 15% of those on repeat medication said they had run out because they’d forgotten to re-order it. Our free mail-order service is now available in the Huddersfield area.’’