Harriet Brown, a physio who fronts the national NHS App campaign, encourages fellow physios to use and promote it
I love my job as a physio, the patients I care for and working for the NHS but, as I’m sure many colleagues within the health service will testify, it can be a frustrating place to work. As physios we already use a diverse range of digital tools and are very aware of the need for the NHS to optimise the digital future.
My role in the community rehabilitation team involves me working mainly with older adults with complex health needs who often struggle to leave the house. By nature of their medical conditions they often need to see a GP regularly, potentially having their health and medications reviewed and frequently requiring repeat prescriptions.
Getting out to pick up a prescription or going into the surgery to book an appointment can be a challenge and a stressful experience for many of my patients.
The NHS App makes it a lot easier and convenient for them to manage their own healthcare. Instead of having to go in to book an appointment or to add their repeat prescription to the admin box, they can do it through the app.
As a mum to three boys I have personally found the app incredibly useful when booking GP appointments. Instead of hanging around on the phone just as I’m trying to get the kids out the door, I can now book appointments and get test results within seconds – before I even get out of bed.
After all, we can manage our finances and utilities digitally so why not our healthcare? The NHS App is safe and securely protected through NHS login and patients, as well as ourselves as healthcare professionals, can be confident in knowing that data and health records are protected and remain confidential.
I’m being asked more and more by patients about what apps they can use to manage their health and I’ve been encouraging all my colleagues to talk to patients who are interested in using digital services about the NHS App.
It allows patients to be more informed and involved about what is going on with their own health records, and the symptom checker helps them get the right health advice. For me it’s about the future of self-management, and empowering our patients through digital tools such as the NHS App.
I would encourage all colleagues to speak to their patients about downloading the NHS App now.
- Harriet Brown is a physiotherapist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
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