The announcement was made by Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock last month, at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester.
The new NHS app, which it is hoped will rollout nationally next year, will undergo “beta testing” amongst six GP practices in Liverpool, between now until the end of the year.
Practices already confirmed as taking part in the trial in Liverpool include: Westmoreland GP Centre, Walton Medical Centre, Westminster Medical Centre, Brownlow Health @ Marybone, Oak Vale Medical Centre, and Brownlow Health - with a handful of additional practices to be announced soon.
Patients in each of these practices who agree to take part will be sent a text message from their GP practice inviting them to download the app, providing access to a range of GP services from a personal mobile phone or device. This includes:
- Booking and managing appointments
- Ordering repeat prescriptions
- Viewing their medical records online
- Checking symptoms and getting advice
- Signing up to become an organ donor
Afterwards, their experiences of using it will be collected via an email survey and any feedback will be used to help refine the NHS app.
Dr Ian Pawson, a GP at Brownlow Health and part of Liverpool CCG’s Governing Body said:
We’re really excited about being a part of this trial in Liverpool. The NHS App is a really important digital innovation that will offer a number of important benefits to patients and to the NHS, and it’s great to be a part of helping to shape its development, ahead of national roll out.
We know that patients can access a range of NHS services electronically already, but often they say they want a more consistent experience, and to have online access to everything related to their health available in one, single place. They also want to be able to use an official NHS product to do it – and that’s what the new NHS app will provide.
We do appreciate that not everyone is comfortable using this kind of technology, and not all patients will want to use it. But for many people mobile technology is such a big part of their daily lives now, and this development will provide patients with greater flexibility and choice about how they contact their practice and manage their health in the future.
The first wave of testing is already up and running at Walton Medical Centre and at Brownlow Health @ Marybone, with the other pilot practices due to follow shortly.
Any registered patients from practices taking part in the trial, can find out more about helping to test the app by contacting their GP surgery directly.
The intention is that the new NHS app will be available to all patients in England in the New Year.