Image source: Welsh Government, Open Government Licence v3.0
The Welsh Government has released the NHS Wales App with plans for the development of further functions as it is rolled out around the country.
It is also beginning to talk with social care representatives about how the app could possibly be used in the sector.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan provided a statement to the Senned on the plans for the app, which was launched without a public announcement in mid-April.
She said a “deliberately steady” approach is being taken to its development as it is rolled out to GP practices and new functions are integrated.
These could include some that are relevant to social care.
Exploring possible benefits
“We are beginning discussions with colleagues in social care to see what's possible in terms of extending the app so that those people who receive social care services can benefit from it too,” Morgan said. “And we will be seeking the feedback of those who use the app so that we can continue to improve it.”
Other functions are likely to include patients being able to see where they are on a waiting list and engage with secondary care clinicians before and after operations.
Morgan said that so far around 97,000 patients are registered with GP practices that have turned on the app, which enables users to view their GP records, order repeat prescriptions and book appointments.
“The app and its accompanying website represent the single, patient-facing entry point for digital health and social care services in Wales, and will provide a platform for future digital services,” she said. “Feedback from the increasing number of people using the app will be invaluable as we develop the app further and produce additional services.”
She added: “There is still much to do to fully capitalise on the opportunities afforded by the app, but we are committed to ensuring that it provides people with digital access to the health and social care services that they need, whenever and wherever they need them.”