Patients across England can now download the NHS App which will allow them to order repeat prescriptions, check their patient record or book and manage GP appointments. GP practices will need to review some of their IT system settings to enable patients to access the app’s full range of functions.
The app will co-work with the NHS website (previously called NHS Choices). Patients who use the app, will use the new NHS login process to verify that they may access their health information.. The early features are intended to be:
Over time, further services may be added to the NHS App. For example, it is planned the NHS App will:
- suggest health apps that may be of benefit to patients from the NHS Apps library;
- enable commissioners to promote digital, or face-to-face services to patients that are available locally; and
- include a link for GP video consultation options.
Some of the NHS App functionality will be similar to the GP online services that have been available for some time.
GP practices will need to review some of their IT system settings to enable patients to access the app’s full range of functions. If a patient’s practice is not live, they can provide an email address so they are notified when their practice goes live. Other features within the NHS App include the NHS 111 online symptom checker and the NHS website health A-Z; both these features will be active for all patients, even when their GP practice has not gone live.
The Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG) has suggested that a future development should be to allow patients to use the app to make or amend their EPS nomination; the NHS App team have confirmed that this feature is being considered for inclusion in their product development roadmap.
It will be possible for approved apps to interoperate with the NHS app, using NHS login where appropriate. These apps may function alongside the NHS app or in the case of web-based apps, they would open within the NHS app.
PSNC and the CP ITG will continue discussions with the NHS App team to consider developments of the app which may be beneficial to community pharmacy contractors and their patients.
If you would like to make suggestions for future features, please email Dan Ah-Thion, PSNC’s Community Pharmacy IT Lead. PSNC will collate the feedback for discussion with the NHS Digital’s NHS App team. Pharmacy staff and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) may also contact Dan regarding any lessons which emerge from the piloting or rollout.
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