Say hello to the ‘technology revolution’.
When you’re feeling bunged up, stuffy, or sick, there’s nothing worse than having to dial a number, wait on hold for ages, and speak to a busy, flustered receptionist. We’ve all been there. Getting an appointment to see your GP can be hard work.
Luckily, the government unveiled a brand-new app that will allow patients to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and check out their medical files. The system should make communicating with your local surgery easier than ever.
As though that wasn’t enough, the NHS App will give direct access to the 111 service (for low-priority health issues), let patients sign up to be organ donors, and give you control over how your data is used.
Today we have unveiled the new NHS App where you can book a raft of routine requests, including GP appointments and repeat prescriptions pic.twitter.com/CtX0UzZSIy
— DHSC Media Centre (@DHSCmedia) July 2, 2018
“In our 70th year as the NHS, we have to look forward as well as backward and the big change that is going to happen in the next decade is the technology revolution,” Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC. He also explained that the app is a ‘birthday present’ to mark the anniversary of the service.
The Importance of Security
Let’s not beat around the bush – the NHS App sounds pretty handy. However, experts have stressed that security will play an important role when it comes out. The inclusion of medical records on the system means that the government will have to go to great lengths to protect this sensitive information.
“Considering that patients’ medical history will be accessible on individuals’ mobile phones on the apps, we need to ensure that the security and reliability of the identity verification processes being used are of the highest international security standards,” Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, The Royal College of General Practitioners, told the BBC.
Don’t panic. Officials from government have already addressed this problem, claiming that the app will be as secure as the leading banking apps. That should mean that patients can use the app without any fear of their private details or information being leaked.
Booking an Appointment
The NHS App should make booking a slot to see your doctor faster than ever. However, that does not mean there will miraculously be more available appointments. Jeremy Hunt says that people should use the 111 system to check their symptoms and make sure that they need to see a doctor before booking up.