Milton Keynes CCG encourages use of online tools

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“These online services offer the convenience of making an appointment at any time day or night, or requesting a repeat prescription without having to visit the surgery,” said Dr Nicola Smith, NHS Milton Keynes CCG Chair

CCG promotes usability of GP online systems as new survey shows 97% of patients want more variety when it comes to NHS services

[London, UK] The NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging the use of GP online services, which most practices in the area have now implemented.

Patients can currently book appointments, order prescriptions and access specific information included in their GP health record, such as medication or test results.

“These online services offer the convenience of making an appointment at any time day or night, or requesting a repeat prescription without having to visit the surgery. By freeing up the lines they also make it easier for patients who don’t want to use GP online services to get through by phone,” said Dr Nicola Smith, Chair of the NHS Milton Keynes CCG.

“Online services do not replace the traditional methods of contacting your GP practice, such as in person or phoning. They simply offer alternative ways to interact with your GP, making it easier and more convenient,” Dr Smith added.

97% would like more NHS apps

Meanwhile, a new study conducted by Now Healthcare Group shows that an overwhelming 97% of people interviewed believe digital technology should be incorporated into NHS Choices.

Lee Dentith, CEO of the group, argued that new technologies should be ‘thoroughly embraced’ in order to support a struggling NHS, calling online tools ‘the future of the UK’s healthcare system’.

The survey was based on six questions focusing around access to primary care in a specific area, with nearly all of the patients interviewed saying they would like to see ‘Digital Health App Services’ when accessing NHS Choices.

However, a new review carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) reveals Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) do not support digital transformation in primary care, while some of them including no references to general practice in their digital strategies.

“STPs identify very limited ring fenced funds for general practice infrastructure. Often these are dependent on bids or delivery of other aspects of the STPs, with a failure to recognise the importance of vastly improved estate and digital capabilities in general practice in order to deliver new models of care,” the RCGP assessment says.