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Article number: 31933Last updated: 15-03-2024

Docman Patient Online Visibility Update Mar 2024

Communications sent on behalf of Advanced and NHS England:


Practice Info 

Patient Visibility / Provisional status update X March 2024


Dear Docman User 


Further to our communications in November 2023, we are writing to update you about the progress on this issue.


Late last year a fix was deployed for the issue whereby entries remain as ‘provisional’ in EMIS Web, following review in Docman workflow and are therefore unavailable for patients to view.


Collaborative work is ongoing between NHSE, Advanced and EMIS to implement a subsequent data fix to ensure historical documents have the provisional flag lifted and the Patient Facing Services (PFS) flag set in line with what was originally intended by the practice using Docman.


This work is intended to be complete by 1st April 2024. It should be noted that where the consultation containing the document has been modified, the visibility status will not have changed, i.e., in most cases, it will remain “Non-Visible” to PFS.


NHS England’s Information Governance team advises that practices do not need to identify and contact individual patients regarding this issue, however it may be good practice to be transparent about the issue and to take reasonable steps to inform your patients (e.g. by placing a notice on the practice website). We have suggested some wording below to support practices that choose to inform patients. 


If practices wish to obtain further Information Governance advice, they can contact their Data Protection Officer (DPO) or the NHS England IG Policy team at


Proposed wording for patients: 


Information about a software issue that prevented documents from being visible to patients. 
We understand that some of our patients may have been unable to view certain documents (e.g. letters from the hospital) when using online services due to a software problem. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are pleased to inform you that this issue has been resolved; any new documents added to your electronic GP health records will be visible and it may take up to a month for older, affected documents to become visible. 
Your GP team will have been able to access the letters, so your care will not have been affected during this time.