The NHS website is set to be completely redesigned by the end of next year, into a centralised hub where patients will be able to order prescriptions, book an appointment and find a GP.
The overhaul is part of a wider Department of Health initiative to “achieve digital excellence” in the NHS.
The new NHS.uk website will allow patients to register with a GP, access healthcare records such as test results, and receive medical advice.
It will also allow them to view and book appointments, and order and track prescriptions, says the Department of Health.
As part of the initiative, data from NHS-approved health apps will also now be added into patients’ records.
This data will be used to help “guide patient choice”, says the Department of Health, and the website will include a library of health apps and wearable devices, which have been given the NHS seal of approval.
There will also be a redesign of the existing MyNHS website, which currently provides information to patients on health services in their local area.
It will be programmed to give “better data” on local services performing well across certain healthcare areas, starting with dementia, diabetes and learning disabilities. Data for services’ performance based on maternity, cancer and mental health will follow.
It will also include infographic tools such as maps and graphs, which will show how performance across local services has changed over time.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt made the announcement this week, and the digital transformation will be headed up by the NHS’ in-house team NHS Digital.
Expected by the end of 2017
Andy Williams, chief executive at NHS Digital, says: “Our purpose is to harness information and technology to deliver better health and care.
I am excited by the agenda outlined…and believe we have only just begun to achieve the true transformational change and deliver the real benefits that digital technologies can bring to doctors, nurses, social workers, patients and the public.”
The new NHS.uk website is expected to roll out by the end of 2017, according to the Department of Health.