Atlantis Medical News

New App aiming to alleviate pressure on GP Surgeries


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UPDATED

30 JAN 2019


There are few things more frustrating for people than the 8 am rush in trying to book an appointment with a GP. With so many people phoning in at the same time, a lot of people who are sick and in need of help are left frustrated at how quickly appointments are filled.

It is almost a lottery in getting through and even though there are many aspects of the NHS which need improving, this is one area where people would love for more support to be offered.

It may be that a new app will help to alleviate a lot of the pressure involved with the situation. A full rollout of a new app won't come until the summer, so it may take a while for patients to reap the benefits. However, this is an indicator of what the NHS should be doing to be smarter and more efficient in the workplace.

The NHS must look to provide a better standard of service

The new app is set to allow patients to:
• Book an appointment
• Order a prescription
• View their medical records

The app was launched on New Year’s Eve but at the moment, many surgeries are yet to sign up for the app. The party line is that many are waiting until after winter, where the pressure on themselves and the app will be less. This is understandable but it does mean that it is difficult to appraise the quality and benefits of the app. In theory, this will free up staff members and allow people to get the support they need from the comfort of their own home, but the reality may not match up to this situation.

The fact that NHS England hasn’t promoted the app to any great extent indicates they know that it will take some time for it to be fully functional and of benefit. It is believed that all surgeries will be signed up for the app by the 1st of July.

Security is essential in an app like this

There is positive news in the fact that some of the patients who have signed up for the app have said that it has been of benefit. The sign-up process requires a code, which is either an NHS number or which can be obtained from a surgery, and a video login is also required. It is vital that the person using the app is who they claim to be, so it is perfectly understandable that there is a technical sign-in process. As long as support is provided to people looking to sign up for the app, there shouldn’t be a problem.

The long-term aim of the app is that it will remove the need for telephone queues and that it will play a role in the 10-year plan for the NHS. One of the aims is that by 2024, every patient will have the ability to access a video appointment with their GP.

The Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “The NHS App will give patients more control over their own healthcare and revolutionise the way we access services. It marks a shift towards a truly digitised NHS and will allow patients to secure a GP appointment with the click of a button, rather than having to join a queue of callers.”

At Atlantis Medical, we know the pressure medical professionals are under. Anything which alleviates this pressure while supporting patients should be regarded as a positive outcome. This app still needs work on it for it to be truly effective, but if it goes to plan, it could be of considerable benefit.

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