Did you know that over two thirds of the 33 million people who use the NHS app are pensioners? I certainly didn’t, and I must say that I’m impressed at how keen people are to embrace the digital side of healthcare. Hats off to you!
The NHS app now has an option that lets you order your prescriptions digitally. They’ve been trialling it for a while, so for some of you this may not be news at all, but for others (including me) it’s going to come in very handy indeed.
You can now use the app to order a repeat prescription, without needing to visit the GP or health centre first, and even have it sent to your chosen pharmacy for you to collect. You can also check your medical records on the app, and even manage your hospital appointments. It also has a link to the online 111 service, where you can check your symptoms and find out if you need urgent medical help.
I found it very reassuring to be able to look back at my past appointments and treatments at a glance, to check exactly when I had the mole on my back checked out, and to see that the results from a recent scan were thankfully normal.
Now I want to stress at this point, that you don’t have to use the app if you don’t want to, or if you’re not confident in using it. And there will always be things that you can’t do in it, that still require a phone call to your local surgery, or an actual appointment with a doctor.
For example, I’ve got some medication that was prescribed on a 3 month trial, which is working very well for me, so I want to continue taking it. However, because it was on a 3 month trial, I need to get in touch with my GP so they can authorise it as a repeat prescription – currently, I can’t order it through the app, which is a bit of a pain.
Hopefully, we’ll be given the option to do more of this type of basic health admin task online or in an app – the keyword here being “option”. As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s very important to keep offering in-person services for those who need or want them. And hopefully if more people are using the app, that should make more space at the in-person services for those who need them.
If you don’t have the app, and you think it might be useful, you can get it from the App Store (for iPhones) or the Google Play Store (for Android phones). It helps to know your NHS number when you first set it up, but it’s not essential.