New NHS app will make it quicker and easier to access health services

The new NHS app will be available to all patients for free by December 2018 to provide safe and secure access to their GP record.

Patients will be able to use it to make GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, manage long-term conditions and access 111 online for urgent medical queries.

It means patients will be able to secure a GP appointment with the click of a button, rather than join a queue of callers attempting to ring the local surgery at the same time each morning.

Patients will also be able to use the app to state their preferences relating to data-sharing, organ donation and end-of-life care.

The app has been developed by NHS Digital and NHS England and it will be available through the App Store or Google Play and once downloaded users can simply sign up for an NHS account.

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.

Technology has transformed everyday life when it comes to banking, travel and shopping. Health matters much more to all of us, and the prize of that same digital revolution in healthcare isn’t just convenience but lives improved, extended and saved. As the NHS turns 70 and we draw up a long-term plan for the NHS on the back of our £394 million a week funding boost, it’s time to catch up and unleash the power of technology to transform everyday life for patients.”

NHS England National Director of Operations and Information Matthew Swindells said: “In the NHS’s 70th year, 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.”