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GPs asked to promote Government's NHS App to patients via text

GPs in five areas of England are being asked to promote the new official NHS App to their patients as part of a pilot, the health and social care secretary will announce today.

GPs in Liverpool, Hastings, Bristol, Staffordshire and South Worcestershire have been asked to invite their patients to download the app via text message, Matt Hancock will say.

Pulse had previously learned the NHS App would be piloted from the end of September with around 2,000 patients from ten GP practices.

The initial version of the app will enable patients to book appointments, check their symptoms, order repeat prescriptions, access 111 online for urgent medical queries, and state their preferences for organ donation and data sharing.

And a later update to the app, expected early next year, will allow patients to connect their Apple Watch or FitBit to the app as well as consult with their GP over video.

Speaking at NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, Mr Hancock will say: 'Now is the moment to put the failures of the past behind us, and set our sights on the NHS being the most cutting-edge system in the world for the use of technology to improve our health, make our lives easier, and make money go further, harnessing the amazing explosion of innovation that the connection of billions of minds through digital technology has brought to this world.'

A notice from the Department of Health and Social Care said this comes as 85% of the public welcome the app, according to analysis by pharmaceutical company Roche.

Readers' comments (7)

  • What Now?

    The initial version of the app will enable patients
    1. to book appointments, caution required
    so worried well do not use up available slots
    Phone triage needed to manage demand

    2. check their symptoms,
    3. access 111 online for urgent medical queries,
    will always need safety disclaimer to contact GP or ooh for verbal consult


    3. Order repeat prescriptions, ok
    4. State their preferences for organ donation.. i.e wether they will opt out
    5. data sharing. already checked in surgery

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  • What Now?

    Dear Matt
    General practice requires
    - more funding
    - more resources and
    - workload control
    - better opportunities for
    Doctors to open their own practices
    otherwise the failures of the past
    will continue to present and future

    Lots of at the coal face are acutely aware of the ship sinking around us

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  • What Now?

    would patients like to be able to order a taxi to and from the surgery via tha app

    Sure some research will find that this has a 98% positive uptake as well

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  • It is amazing how simplistically Health ministers actually view the NHS. You can have all the technology in the world but unless you have the basics in place such as a GP to book an appointment with, what is any of it worth?

    Really cant't remember whether Jeremy's 5,000 extera GPs were full time partners or any doc with a license to practice.

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  • I really like the interview with Matt Hancock today on radio 4. The interviewer got it but he didn’t.
    I know what my Dad will say about the App in Worcester!!
    He just won’t go to the GP until he is half dead. Probably increasing costs overall. He doesn’t have a smartphone. Who cares as long as the majority worried well do

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  • Neil Bhatia

    Promoting the NHS App via text is direct marketing...

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  • In Staffordshire??? Really...well I wont be doing....

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