Patients in North Yorkshire and York can now access a wide range of medical advice and help from their GP surgery through a laptop or smartphone – without needing to visit their practice in person or wait on the phone.
The free NHS App – together with the GP practice online service – can be used 24 hours a day and can save people time because they remove the need for unnecessary phone calls or trips to the practice to request the help that’s required.
The NHS App can be installed on smartphones via the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android), while the confidential GP practice online service can be used by anyone registered with a GP practice and is accessible via smartphone, tablet or computer.
People with the NHS App installed on their smartphone can get advice about coronavirus, check their symptoms, book and manage GP surgery appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and view a summary of their patient record.
Patients who are registered with the GP practice online service are able to:
- Seek medical advice about a new problem or an ongoing issue
- Take part in an online consultation
- Order repeat prescriptions
- Manage appointments
- Request test results
- Request GP letters and ‘fit for work’ notes
To access the online service, patients should visit their GP practice website and follow the instructions to register. They can use the search tool at nhsonline.info to find their GP practice website and more information about the GP online service.
Dr Charles Parker, NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Clinical Chair, said: “The free NHS App, as well as the GP practice online service give patients much more flexibility and choice in how and when they access healthcare. People with busy lives often struggle to find the time to contact their GP practice to request help – both of these platforms allow people to access their practice at a time that suits them.
“This means patients can avoid unnecessary trips to their GP practice for non-urgent health matters and they won’t need to spend time waiting on the phone, as requesting medical advice and administrative tasks such as managing repeat prescriptions and getting test results can now be managed through the NHS App or via the GP online service.”
Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York CCG Clinical Chair added: “This online service does not replace face-to-face appointments, which continue to be available for anyone who needs them. But by people accessing services online and via the NHS App when it’s appropriate to do so, it frees up valuable face-to-face GP appointments for those people who really need them.”
For patients requesting consultations through the GP online service, symptoms can be submitted via a simple online form. They will then get a response from their GP practice within one to two working days. This could be via email, phone or video call. The response from the GP surgery could include medical advice, the offer of a face-to-face appointment or referral to another health service, such as a local pharmacy.
Patients seeking urgent medical attention should call NHS 111, or if it’s an emergency, dial 999 or visit the nearest A&E department.