NHS app to offer GP appointments and access to medical records
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announces plans for England-wide rollout of platform, which will also provide 111 access and repeat prescriptions
A version of the app is currently being trialled in London, ahead of being implemented nationally by the end of 2018
By the end of next year every NHS user in England will be able to use an app or a web browser to view their medical records and book appointments with their GP.
The online system, a version of which is currently being trialled in south-east London, will also permit patients to order repeat prescriptions and contact the 111 non-emergency service. The plans for a nationwide rollout during the year of the NHS’s 70th anniversary are to be announced during a speech being given today by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
“If the NHS is going to be the safest, highest-quality healthcare system in the world we need to do technology better,” Hunt will say, at an event in Manchester. “People should be able to access their own medical records 24/7, show their full medical history to anyone they choose, and book basic services – like GP appointments or repeat prescriptions – online.
The health secretary will add: “I do not underestimate the challenge of getting there. But, if we do, it will be the best possible 70th birthday present from the NHS to its patients.”
Hunt will also flag up the success of some ongoing NHS digitisation projects, particularly in dealing with long-term conditions. These include the MyCOPD app, which is currently available to help sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease manage their condition.
- Most hospitals still reliant on hundreds of pagers
- NHS Digital's progress hamstrung by ageing tech and culture clashes - report
- NHS England launches platform to create marketplace and testbed for healthcare app developers
To encourage the creation of other such apps, the health secretary will also unveil the MyNHS open data challenge, a £100,000 funding pot to be awarded to people or companies creating healthcare apps or other digital tools based on open data.
Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital, said: "We welcome the secretary of state's clear vision for the provision of technology services which will empower citizens to access NHS services and manage their health. Good digital services will make care safer and more accessible and free-up more time for doctors and nurses to spend with patients.”
She added: "We are already working intently towards the delivery of these outcomes and have made substantial progress, in areas including enhancing 111 Online and NHS.UK, and launching Acute and Mental Health Global Digital Exemplars.
"We are committed to achieving the targets outlined by the Secretary of State, by the end of 2018. This will be great cause for celebration at the end of the NHS's 70th birthday year."
GPs across England to get tool to help direct patients to hospitals with sufficient capacity
Civil servant Zara McDermott has joined the ITV reality show
More data likely to be made available under government licence in due course
After piloting the technology for non-clinical use, Gill Hitchcock reports on how primary care managers in south Wales are looking to overcome confidentiality issues to explore its potential for...
The cautionary tale of the Leicestershire teenager who hacked high-ranking US officials shows the need for improved password security
Calm has turned a section of the 57,509-word EU document into a sleep-inducing audio book
Which? said a lack of knowledge about data among consumers had led to suspicion and doubt over useful innovations
BT's Konstantinos Karagiannis explains ethical hacking and why it's important to exploit vulnerabilities