The Bristol area is set to be one of only five in the country to pilot the new NHS app, ahead of a planned national roll-out next year.
The pilot was announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock at the NHS Expo in Manchester this month and forms part of national plans to make the NHS an ecosystem for the best technology available. These will build on the £20 billion long-term plan to transform health and social care so it can improve treatment and deliver better care for patients.
The new NHS app will be piloted from October. Patients in the five pilot areas will be able to download a test version of the app, allowing access to:
- booking GP appointments
- ordering repeat prescriptions
- their medical record
- 111 online access for urgent medical queries
- data sharing preferences
- organ donation preferences.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG Digital Clinical Lead, Dr Andrew Appleton, said: “This is a really exciting project and we’re delighted to be one of the first areas of the country to be exploring how this new app can help local patients to engage with their GPs and access digital health services.
We want the best possible services for our population and we’re committed to using new digital technologies to shape better health for local people and improve their experience of health services.
“People increasingly expect to be able to access all manner of services through mobile apps and it’s important that the NHS keeps up by offering patients access to a range of services through their mobile phones and tablets.
“This official NHS app has been designed to be easy to use by all patients and will allow access to a range of services. It will also make booking appointments easier through the app.”
The ‘beta’ version of the app will be tested with patients at a limited number of GP practices in the wider Bristol area.
Patients will be invited to take part in the pilot on an individual basis and GPs will be contacting patients with more details in the coming weeks.