NHS App begins public rollout across England following successful testing

pharmafile | January 24, 2019 | News story | Medical Communications England, NHS, NHS App, UK, health, pharma 

NHS England has announced that the NHS app, which will allow patients to book and manage their GP appointments alongside a range of other services, has begun its public rollout across England.

Private testing of the digital tool was deemed a success after it was trialled with over 3,000 across 30 GP practices. NHS England and NHS Digital analysed feedback generated by users during these tests in order to refine the product, including changes to the online registration process, the way in which GP appointment data is presented, and the information displayed before accessing GP medical records.

The app was originally made available on 31 December last year via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play platform, and a web-based version of the service is due to be released in the coming months.

According to the official announcement by NHS England, users will be able to:

  • Book and manage appointments at their GP practice
  • Order their repeat prescriptions
  • Securely view their GP medical record
  • Check their symptoms using NHS 111 online and the health A-Z on the NHS website
  • Register as an organ donor
  • Choose whether the NHS uses their data for research and planning

Individual practices will need to review some of their system settings before they are able to go live on the app and make all of its functions are available, but until this time patients will able to check their symptoms through the app via NHS 111 online.

“The NHS wants to empower the public to take more control of their own healthcare, and the new app, which has already been tested by more than 3,000 people, will put the NHS into the pocket of everyone in England, providing safe and secure access to trusted health information, 111 online, repeat prescriptions and GP appointments,” commented Matthew Swindells, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS England. “Through the Long Term Plan we see the app as the digital front door into the NHS, for those who want to use it, and once rolled out we will continue to develop and enhance its offer to patients, making it the must have health app for everyone in England.”

Wendy Clark, Executive Director of Product Development at NHS Digital, added: “The NHS App will give everyone in England who chooses a convenient tool to access the NHS, similar to the way people interact with other services, such as banking or travel booking. It is an important step towards providing an NHS that is digitally accessible and means that patients know that whatever they access on this app is safe and trusted and will make a positive contribution to their health and wellbeing. The potential of the app is huge and we will be listening to user and GP feedback as we add additional tools and services and more GPs come on board.”

Matt Fellows

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