The NHS Long Term plan was published recently and there is lots to digest but one key aspect that was central to the plan is Digital Care. In short this means that accessing primary care and GP services will be increasingly possible using digital means above what is currently possible now. Many patients are already ordering their repeat prescriptions online, booking some appointments online, but these services will be offered to more patients and include the offer of online or video consultation. This will not be suitable for all patients of course and the traditional means of accessing services will remain. All hospitals must become fully digital by 2024, which should help to improve communications between the hospital and primary care.
Regionally we have made headway with regards to digital care. In 2017, the Childhood Illness App was launched, the app enables parents and carers to find NHS advice at their fingertips to help them look after their children’s health. The app gives easy to understand guidance on childhood illnesses, recognising when your child is unwell, and advice on when and where to seek further treatment. You can download the app now, available on Google Play and the App Store by searching for NHS child health or click here to view the Child Health Booklet.
Additionally the 111 online service was recently launched and the online service is now available across most of England. People can visit the website 111.nhs.uk, enter their age, sex, postcode and main symptom and are then asked a series of questions about their health problem.