In September last year, Chief Nurse Ruth May introduced the ‘NHS App Ambassadors’ scheme, and since then the amount of NHS App users has doubled.
There are now more than 200,000 registered NHS App users compared to 91,000 at the beginning of September. NHS appointments have been booked online more than ever before, instead of calling their local surgery- and in September alone there were 1.4million GP online service appointments made.
A secure and simple way is provided by the NHS App so people can access a wide variety of NHS services on their tablet or smartphone. The App is available on both Android and IOS devices and allows users to do a variety of things including book appointments, manage repeat prescriptions and view their GP medical records.
Frontline NHS staff who joined the scheme have been working in their professional groups and organisations encouraging their colleagues to download and use the app themselves. There are already 645 App Ambassadors in the scheme.
All the staffing groups are represented by the App ambassadors across England, including:
- 113 nurses
- 39 doctors/GPs
- 29 occupational therapists
- 20 midwives
- 20 paramedics
- 9 physiotherapists
Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, said:
“NHS staff play an important role in telling people about the NHS App and supporting them to use it. As members of NHS staff, we all use the NHS too and so we’ve been talking to staff about how the NHS App can really benefit them, especially given the busy lives so many lead.
“A growing range of digital tools are available alongside the NHS App, using the infrastructure we developed in building the app, giving people an important choice in how they access NHS services online. Our intention is to encourage NHS staff to help people to understand the choices available. This will mean that some people choose to use another tool instead of, or alongside, the NHS App. This might be an app they have used previously on a longstanding basis or one that provides an additional service that better meets their particular needs.
“We are getting terrific feedback that digital tools are helping put people in better control of their healthcare, and it’s important that, as more and more patients begin using digital routes to access the NHS, our NHS staff are well informed about them to be able to give their patients confidence, and what better way for staff to do that than be a user of digital tools themselves.
“I think it’s brilliant that we have hundreds of Ambassadors starting to spread the message about the services available to them to their colleagues right across the country and I want to say thank you to all of them.”
Ian Phoenix, Director of Technology for Citizen Health at NHS Digital, said:
“It’s fantastic to see so many NHS staff choosing to use the NHS App themselves and reporting back to us that they’re seeing benefits, whether it be from being able to quickly and simply order their repeat prescriptions, view their medical records, set their organ donation preferences or check symptoms.
“If you’ve not yet downloaded it yourself, do give it a try.”