Patients Know Best – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Patients Know Best?

Patients Know Best (PKB) is HDFT’s patient portal. It is a secure online service that allows your health records to be stored in one place. Patients at HDFT can use PKB to access most of their outpatient appointment letters or to request to reschedule, or cancel, an appointment. Many patients find it convenient to use PKB as they can see their appointment times more quickly compared to when they are sent through the post and they don’t need to spend time waiting on the phone to change appointments that they are unable to attend.

What devices can I use to log in?

You can access your PKB record from any smartphone, tablet, or desktop device.  There’s no need to update your device or install new software. Simply use your web browser to log in at Patients Know Best. From this web page you can use your NHS login or PKB Password, if you have one.

Can I access my information on the NHS app?

Yes, you can access appointment details that are available in PKB via the NHS app, along with outpatient appointment letters. Your PKB account will link to the NHS app, and you will receive notifications via the NHS app.

For more details on the NHS app please see:

How will I know if you have sent me something on PKB? 

You can receive smartphone notifications from the NHS App and email notifications when there are new messages in PKB. You can read your messages from within the NHS App by tapping on the notification.

I can see appointment details on the portal but why is there is no appointment letter? 

If you have been referred using the national electronic referral service, your GP may have booked you into a provisional appointment which will show initially on the portal. Please note that it usually takes around one working week for the clinical team to review the referral and confirm this is appropriate but could be slightly longer for some appointments. You will then receive an appointment confirmation letter via the portal once an appointment is confirmed.

My friend received a video from their surgeon after their procedure which they watched on PKB.  Can I opt in to this service?

Some of our surgeons provide a video message for patients following their operation or procedure.  This can help provide reassurance, information and reduce the need to return to hospital.

At the moment, this is only available for some of our day case procedures.  You will be told if your surgeon offers this service. If eligible, you will need to register with PKB prior to your admission to be able to access your video.

We are working to increase the number of procedures which provide a personalised video for patients via PKB.

I already have GP online access. Why do I need this?

PKB is used by NHS organisations across the UK for sharing information between patients and their healthcare professionals. It means you can see data from your hospital, whereas your GP online access relates to your GP surgery.

How do I update my email address and mobile telephone number?

You can update your contact details in PKB by clicking on ‘Settings’.  It is important to remember to let your other healthcare organisations, including your GP Practice know the changes too.

Do I have to use PKB?

No, it’s optional and for your convenience. However, it helps to ensure all the people caring for you have the information required to support your needs. If you chose not to register for PKB, your appointments will continue to be sent to you in the post and you will need to call the hospital if you need to make changes to your appointments.

Will this affect my care?

No, this will not affect the care you already receive from us.  Instead, it’s designed to improve your care and experience, and give you instant access to appointment dates.

Can I use an email address shared with other family members to register for PKB?

No, each patient that registers for PKB must have their own email address. Your email address is used to identify you on the PKB Portal and the NHS App and therefore must be unique to you.  However, you can share your portal record with a family member or carer as detailed below.

Can I give a carer or family member access to my record?

If a family member or carer supports you with your healthcare then you can add them to your PKB portal record in the ‘Sharing’ section. This will allow them to set up their own account and allow you to control the level of access they have to your record. This may be helpful in ensuring you can get to your appointments and have someone attend with you.

Anyone who has access to your portal record will be able to see basic details of your healthcare record. Before sharing, you should consider whether you would be happy with that person knowing details about both your current and any future healthcare information.

To invite the carer, a patient or a professional when in the patient record, needs to go to Sharing > Friends/Family and click ‘Add carer.’  Once completed, an invitation will be sent to the carer’s email address.

Is the system secure; and how can I be sure my information won’t be shared or sold?

Patients Know Best is compliant with all national standards concerning health data and its’ security and undergoes rigorous third-party testing. PKB also maintains nationally recognised certification covering both security and data protection. We chose this system because it meets the stringent NHS requirements for health record systems. All personal and health information is encrypted. Only you, the people you choose, and those authorised can access your health information. PKB does not share or sell your data.

The Trust will continue to share necessary information about your care with your GP etc. outside of PKB. For more information, please see our Patient Privacy Notice.

What is the Trust’s relationship with PKB?

The Trust commissions PKB to provide this service for our patients.  We ask them to set up a record for you; they maintain this on our behalf.

When you choose to activate your record, the Trust continues to be in control of the information in this record and any direct correspondence in this, but PKB are responsible for your account information and any information you choose to add to the account. This includes where you allow other members of your family, or clinical teams, to view the information within PKB.

Please see PKB’s privacy notice. The Trust ensures that we have agreements which document this relationship with PKB which we can make available to you if you email the Freedom of Information team at [email protected]

Why have I been invited to register for PKB by one Trust but the logo and welcome message refer to another Trust?

When you register for PKB via an invite from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, you will see our logo.  However, if you have been a patient with another Trust in the past your record may reflect this and show their welcome message and logo.

You can go to the Sharing tab and check which trusts and organisations you are sharing your PKB record with and amend if you wish.

What information is available in PKB?

Your PKB record will include your basic information identifying you, including your NHS number. You will be able to see appointment details.  Please do not contact your GP practice if you cannot find the information you are looking for.

Does it cost me anything?

No, there are no costs to you as a patient as the service is funded by the Trust. We will recoup costs through a reduction in paper and postage expenses as a result of correspondence being sent to you digitally.

I’m having technical problems, who should I contact?

Please email PKB directly at [email protected].  You only need to provide your name, the name of the organisation that created your account (i.e. this hospital) and a summary of the problem(s) you have encountered.