Speaking at the NHS Expo conference in Manchester, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt announced that every patient in England will be able to book a GP appointment, check their patient record, and receive support for managing their long conditions via an app by the end of 2018.
All these developments depend on the new and rebranded NHS Choices site, NHS UK, which is due to launch at end of this September and will provide secure access to NHS features online or via connected apps.
Here is the list of seven features that should be supported in patient apps are:
Jeremy Hunt said that the 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.
He also highlighted that Pilot schemes are already underway including an online trial in South East London where patients can access NHS111, book GP appointment, order repeat prescriptions and receive online consultations with their GP via their smartphone.
Responding to this announcement, Dr Richard Vautrey, the chair of the BMA’s GP Committee said that GPs led the way on electronic records and are always looking for ways to innovate and support patients, but patients needed to be well supported on how to use these new systems safely.
These plans are funded from the £4.2bn tranche of the NHS budget which was ringfenced for IT improvements last year, which is also funding the ‘paperless NHS’ drive, cyber security improvements, and free Wi-Fi in every practice.
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