Patients in Dudley will be able to download the new ASK NHS app from this week.
Initially available to support a number of practices, the new app commissioned by NHS Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will help patients access the right healthcare they need at the right time. This combined with the already available free Patient Wi-Fi at nearly all of our Practices forms part of our drive to deliver accessible & innovative technology to our Patients.
The app is free to download and is an alternative way for patients to schedule a consultation with their GP via their smart phone.
Ask NHS has been developed by Sensely, a Silicon-Valley and London-based digital health company, and uses an evidence driven system based on statistical analysis to navigate patients to the most appropriate services.
With Ask NHS, patients can:
- Check symptoms via the app’s symptom checker, with the patient’s choice of voice or chat modes
- Book GP appointments, where available. Patients are given a choice of available appointment times and can book or cancel appointments directly from the app
- Find local NHS services using the NHS Directory of Service (DoS)
Using Ask NHS can help patients take more control of their health, including those with a long term health condition. A virtual assistant, Olivia, asks a series of questions to assess a patient’s symptoms in a safe, reliable, and secure manner. Olivia will then recommend the most appropriate navigation path for the patient, which can be self-care advice via www.nhs.uk, scheduling a GP appointment, requesting a clinical call back, or directing the patient to urgent or emergency care.
To date, Ask NHS has had over 200,000 downloads in the UK.
Joanne Taylor, Primary Care Commissioning Manager at Dudley CCG said, “We are constantly working to make the experience of patients using healthcare services in Dudley better.
We have heard from local people that they want better and easier access to healthcare. We want to improve this by providing an alternative way for patients to make an appointment with their GP, Nurse or other health professional online via a convenient digital access point.
The Ask NHS app which is free and easy to download allows patients to contact their GP practice without having to wait on the phone or take time out to visit the practice. Using their smartphone, patients can contact their practice about a new problem or an ongoing issue.”
Dr Jonathan Darby, GP and Clinical Executive at Dudley CCG said; “Dudley CCG has always prided itself on being at the cutting edge of IT development, having been the first CCG in the country to use the Sensely app.
We have therefore been intimately involved in its development and are rightly proud of how the app has evolved into an easy to use IT resource that will revolutionise patient’s access to the NHS and how they use its resources.
In the process it will make it easier for people to get the right appointment in the right place at the right time and will also help GPs manage their workload better and provide an improved service to their patients.”
Additional practices will go live with Ask NHS over the coming weeks and months, providing all Dudley residents with easy to access, secure and confidential healthcare support.
The Ask NHS app is available on both iOS and Android phones and smart devices. It’s free to download from the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices). Patients will receive an invitation from their practice to download the app once the practice is live with Ask NHS.