Digital Assistant

We are now offering all patients an option of support in getting set up and using online apps. AskFirst and the NHS App allow you to complete tasks online without having to ring the surgery, like booking some routine appointments, looking at your medical record and test results, requesting prescriptions, checking your referral and many more!

By using the digital assistant, you will be able to access step by step guides on how to download and/or use functionalities within our online apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Digital Assistant, and how can it help me as a patient?
The Digital Assistant can assist you by providing quick and relevant answers to your health and care questions, surfacing the right digital tool/form at the right time, guiding you through setting up the NHS App and walking you through the functionalities of an online offering. This is not a new app.

2. How can I access the Digital Assistant?
You can access the Digital Assistant through the practice telephone call queue (where you will be prompted) and through our website where you may be wanting to find out how to carry out an action. Where the Digital Assistant is available a button will be visible on the webpage.

3. What kind of help can I expect to find on the Digital Assistant?
The digital assistant is here to support patients in carrying out healthcare transactions digitally. It has been designed to cater for all levels of digital literacy. From the main menu you will be asked what you are looking to do today, and from there you will be asked several questions which allows your experience to be tailored to you. Tailoring the experience means you get the support you need, and from there the automated assistant will surface the right links/apps or forms depending on your need.

You can expect to find help getting set up on the NHS App, if you already have the app it can walk you through how to access other functionalities within the app such as:

● Accessing your GP health record
● Booking routine appointments
● Following up on referrals
● Submitting health data (like blood pressure readings etc)
● Cancelling appointments
● Signposting to relevant medical advice and resources such as mental health, contraception and sore throats
● Self-referral to our Primary Care Network (PCN) services
● Retrieving and viewing test results
● Accessing a child's and/or a person you may care for, GP health record (proxy access)
● Repeat prescriptions
● Sick/fit note requests

The NHS App is continually adding more features to support those who wish to carry out health and care transactions digitally. These options will be available when accessing the NHS App via the digital assistant.

4. Can any appointment be booked?
We are currently piloting this offering to ensure this is used in the right way and the right appointment slots are being used for the right reasons. At this stage routine appointments such as; Cervical smears, NHS Health checks, Wound Dressing, Blood Tests, Post Natal 6 week checks, baby immunisations and some long term health condition reviews can be booked. We hope and expect to increase this offering over the coming weeks.

5. Does this stop face to face appointments?
Far from it, in fact it acts as a digital front door to booking specific appointments again. Should this be used in the right way, the practice will increase its online appointment offering.

6. Is the Digital Assistant available 24/7?
You can access the Digital Assistant through the website or through the telephony 24/7, this allows you to get the support you need when you need it. Whilst actions which require human involvement can’t be actioned until the practice is open, there are lots of actions, including appointment booking, retrieving test results and tracking referrals which can be done digitally when the practice is closed.

7. Does this replace the NHS App?
No, it encourages the use of the NHS app and educates patients on the possibilities using the app. The digital assistant is simply a conversational guide to show you the right tools to use depending on your requirement. For example, if you need to see test results or order repeat prescriptions, the assistant will ask you if you have the NHS App, and can then help you download/open it, and also show you how to use it.

However, if you’re looking to book an appointment or complete a health form, the Digital Assistant will surface Whitehill’s appointment booking platform.

8. I don't want to be digital enabled, I just want to speak to a receptionist.
Then don't worry, this is designed to digitally empower patients that are willing to carry out their health care queries and tasks online, and booking appointments online without having to wait in a long call queue or use our call back facility. This allows for those not wanting/unable to go digital and those with urgent queries to avoid long call queues or waiting for a call back.