Posted: Tue 18th Apr 2023

Public testing of NHS Wales app that can access health records, book GP appointments and order prescriptions

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 18th, 2023

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The NHS in Wales has launched a public beta version of its app, giving patients access to health and care services on smartphones and tablets.

The NHS Wales App will let patients book appointments, see test results, and order prescriptions in the first instance.

The app has successfully completed private beta testing by 700 people from 10 GP practices across Wales, who identified minor bugs that have since been addressed.

It can be downloaded via Google and Apple app stores, however, it soon becomes apparent that is it relatively useless if your GP is not connected.

According to a search on the website of the app, it seems that none of the GPs in Flintshire are currently connected to it.

In England, The NHS has had an app offering the same services as the new NHS Wales since 2018, a point noted by Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George who said the ”slow rollout in Wales is incredibly disappointing.”

Wales’ Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, said in a statement, “The feedback from the first phase of beta testing was positive and helped to identify a number of minor bugs, which have now been addressed. Content has also been improved.”

“This is not the final version of the app – the Digital Services for Patients and the Public (DSPP) team, which is developing the app, will be releasing functionality as it is developed.”

“There will also be a way for users to provide feedback to help the team to continue improving the app,” she said.

Some app functions, such as in-app access to 111 and organ donation online services, will be available to all, but others, such as appointment booking, repeat prescription re-ordering, and viewing a summary of a GP health record, will only be available later, once a person’s GP practice has enabled the functionality.

“The DSPP team is working with surgeries across Wales to help them manage this change over the coming months.”

“The NHS Wales App isn’t only for primary care, we are developing functionality to help people manage planned care and for other health settings.”

“We intend for the App to become a single digital front door for all health and social care services,” Ms Morgan said.

Shadow Health Minister, Russell George said: “After nearly four and a half years since the NHS England app’s inception, the Labour Government in Wales is only just rolling out a beta version for Welsh patients, that by their own admission has experienced bugs and is not the final version of the app.

 “Welsh Conservatives have been calling for a Welsh NHS tech bundle for time immemorial because the health service is in desperate need of modernisation. 

 “The speed of this rollout has been incredibly disappointing; Labour needs to get a move on.”

As the app moves into public beta testing, it remains to be seen how effective it will be in providing an efficient and accessible digital service to patients across Wales.

A version of the NHS Wales App for public beta testing has been published on Apple and Google app stores for download.

It will also be available at NHS Wales App website (English) and Ap GIG Cymru (Cymraeg).

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