Jeremy Hunt announces upcoming launch of app allowing patients to make GP appointments and manage prescriptions
An NHS app allowing citizens to make GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions will be launched for Apple and Android devices in December.
The app, which will also provide help with managing long-term conditions and online access to the 111 service for urgent healthcare advice, has been developed by NHS Digital and NHS England. Once they have downloaded it via Google Play or the App Store, users can sign up for an NHS account to access services provided through the app.
This will also include options for selecting preferences for data sharing, organ donation, and end-of-life care.
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Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The NHS app is a world first which will put patients firmly in the driving seat and revolutionise the way we access health services. I want this innovation to mark the death knell of the 8am scramble for GP appointments that infuriates so many patients.”
Hunt first announced the app in September 2017, at which point he pledged that it would launch by the end of 2018. Although no precise date has yet been given, the government has now announced that the free app will become “available to everyone in England in December 2018”.
NHS England national director of operations and information Matthew Swindells claimed that the launch of the app is just one strand of the health service’s digital transformation agenda.
“The new app will take the NHS to a world-leading position by empowering all our patients using digital technology to take charge of their own healthcare and contact the NHS in a way that suits them. The new app will put the NHS into the pocket of everyone in England, but it is just one step on the journey. We are also developing an NHS Apps Library, and putting free NHS WiFi in GP surgeries and hospitals.”