The Government has pledged that NHS patients in England will be able to access their GP record and book appointments using a free app from December 2018.
The app will allow patients to secure a GP appointment with the “click of a button, rather than join a queue of callers attempting to ring the local surgery at the same time each morning”.
Patients will be able to use it to order repeat prescriptions, access 111 online for urgent medical queries and manage long-term conditions. They will also be able to record their preferences relating to data-sharing, organ donation and end-of-life care.
Former Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The NHS app is a world-first which will put patients firmly in the driving seat and revolutionise the way we access health services.
“I want this innovation to mark the death-knell of the 8am scramble for GP appointments that infuriates so many patients.
“Technology has transformed everyday life when it comes to banking, travel and shopping. Health matters much more to all of us, and the prize of that same digital revolution in healthcare isn’t just convenience but lives improved, extended and saved.”
The app has been developed by NHS Digital and NHS England. It will be available through the App Store or Google Play and once downloaded users can sign up for an NHS account.