Local patients using innovative NHS app to get advice on healthcare

Launched a year ago, Ask NHS is a free smartphone app giving patients more flexibility in accessing healthcare advice and support. The app is very user-friendly and patients can get confidential advice based on their symptoms from Olivia, a virtual nurse. They can also search for health services and book GP appointments.

The Ask NHS app’s symptom checker is proving to be particularly popular and can advise patients on how to take care of themselves as well as signposting them to their GP or another service if necessary. Over 50,000 symptom checker assessments have been completed through the app.

Rachael Ellis, Chief Officer of the transformation team at Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG and lead on the West Midlands Integrated Urgent Care Alliance says:

"The Ask NHS app is a really useful alternative for patients who need to obtain urgent advice on their health. They can receive advice 24 hours a day wherever they are and without them having to wait for or attend a GP appointment or going to A&E unless this is really necessary. This reduces the demand on GPs and on A&E departments so that they can concentrate on helping people with more complex needs and saves patients time and money."

The app is free to download from both Google and iOS App Store (4 out 5 rating) and is in the Top 10 – Mobile Apps in UK under Medical Category. The Ask NHS app has been commissioned by the West Midlands Integrated Urgent Care Alliance on behalf of all of the clinical commissioning groups in the West Midlands.