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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Hampshire

What does the NHS app do and how can it help me?

The NHS App can help you save time and have more control over your healthcare. If you have access to a smartphone or tablet, you can download it either on android or apple.


This article will help you to understand what the NHS App does and how it can help you manage your healthcare. When you first register the App, you will need to enter some details. If you find this hard to do or need support, click here.


Advice

The first tab at the bottom of the app looks like a stethoscope- this is the advice section. This section is really useful if you are unsure whether you need to be seen and by whom:

  • Ask your GP for advice: this service runs through Econsult, so is only available if your practice uses the system. You will be asked a series of questions, and your GP will get back to you within their usual deadlines (this will vary from practice to practice)

  • Contact 111 online: you can check your symptoms and the 111 online tool on the App will tell you what to do next- whether that’s self care, a pharmacy or more urgent help via Urgent Treatment Centres or A&E

  • A dedicated section on Covid 19: you can book vaccinations, find a walk in vaccination site, learn more about current guidelines and find advice on managing symptoms

  • Search conditions and treatments: you can find trusted NHS information on hundreds of conditions, all in an easy to navigate A-Z

Appointments

If you are tired of long waits on the telephone, you may be interested to know that you can book and manage some appointments on the NHS App- the tab looks like a calendar. These are:

  • GP Surgery Appointments: you can view upcoming appointments, past appointments and book an appointment online. If there are no appointments available online you can call your practice as usual

  • Additional GP Services: you can use the NHS App to contact your GP for things like test results, sick notes, GP letters and medical reports. It takes about 5 minutes via a short form

  • Referrals, hospital and other appointments: if you have been referred to hospital or another NHS service you can use the NHS App to manage and book appointments

  • You can also use the appointments tab to book a Covid-19 vaccination

Prescriptions

You can use the NHS App to manage prescriptions. If you click the prescription icon at the bottom of the app (it looks like a tablet capsule) you will be given the following options:

  • Order a prescription: You will be given the option to order a repeat prescription (if it has been signed off by your GP) or to request a non-repeat, one off medicine

  • You can choose your nominated pharmacy, so any prescriptions can be sent their directly

  • You can view your previous orders and see the date you last collected them, doses and instructions for use (how many per day etc)

Your Health

You can use the ‘Your Health’ section of the app to view a range of information about your health. The tab looks like a heart, and includes:

  • Get your NHS Covid Pass

  • Check your Covid-19 vaccine record: you can see the dates of your vaccines, which dose you had and the batch number

  • View your GP Health Record: view things like allergies, medicines, test results and more in your GP health record

  • Manage your organ donation decision: here you can choose whether or not to donate your organs and if not all, select which you would be willing to donate. You can tell your family and friends about your wishes via the App, share that you are a donor on social media, withdraw any previous decisions and register to be a blood donor

  • Choose to participate in research: decide whether your patient information can be used for research and planning. You can also register to take part on health research.

Messages

The final tab on the bottom page is messages- it looks a little like a speech bubble. Here you can view any messages from your GP surgery, about hospital or specialist care appointments and any other invitations or reminders. When you have a new message, a red dot appears to the top right of the speech bubble.


Find an NHS Service near you

If you select the ‘home’ icon at the top left of the homepage, you’ll see an option to ‘Find NHS services near you’. Here, you can see a list of NHS services- select the one you want, enter your postcode and you’ll find your local GP’s, dentists, pharmacies and more. As well as this, within each section there is some great advice and information, like how to register for a GP and a link to mental health helplines and support.


Good to know…

  • You can link family members or someone you care for to your account so that you can make appointments, request prescriptions and seek advice on their behalf. To do this, you need to contact the GP surgery of the person you’d like to set up a linked profile for and ask them to register you for access

  • If you press the ‘home’ icon at the top left of the App you can find your NHS number

  • At the top right of the App there is a help icon (a question mark). This gives you advice and instructions on how to use the App and a contact if you need technical support

  • Like many other Apps, you can change your settings and decide how you’d like to receive notifications like messages. You can also change your contact settings. Go to more (3 dots) at the top right and select ‘Account and Settings’

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