Ask NHS about its latest achievement

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ASK NHS LogoWest Midlands Integrated Urgent Care Alliance (WMIUCA) today received a well deserved shortlisting from the e-Health Insider (ehi) 2017 awards – a dedicated flagship awards that recognise innovation and achievements in the healthcare and technology sector.

The 11th edition of the ehi Awards took place on 31 October at the NEC, Birmingham. Judged by a panel of industry leaders, the ehi Awards have acknowledged the exceptional accomplishment and contribution the West Midlands Integrated Urgent Care Alliance has made with the high quality digital app ‘Ask NHS’. The project which focussed on addressing NHS demand was a finalist in the ‘Best app for patients and carers’ category.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, challenged the NHS to deliver digital services nationwide by the end of 2018 and Ask NHS is already answering that challenge.

Created by a world-leading partnership between NHS commissioners, patients, providers, clinicians, caregivers and technology suppliers it has the scalability to address NHS needs, nationally.

The Ask NHS App can book you a GP appointment, look up services, take you through NHS Choices and you check your symptoms with a virtual nurse. This virtual clinician is delivered by the Avatar ‘Olivia.’ Olivia takes you through a series of questions about your symptoms, working out if you need an ambulance, just need advice, self- care or can offer a call back from a GP inside of the NHS111 Clinical Assessment Service.  

Dr Gareth Stuttard, Clinical GP for the wider West Midlands Integrated Urgent Care project said:

This app not only promotes self-care, wellbeing and autonomy, it improves access to primary care, reduces pressure on the NHS with a cost effective digital access point and most importantly, delivers a seamless journey through urgent care and primary care systems, enhancing continuity, patient experience and safety.”

Since April 2017, 35,808 users have registered with the service across 645 practices with 2,423 requests for a call back from the Clinical Assessment Service. West Midlands’ patients have welcomed the service:

  • On average every six minutes someone uses the symptom checker
  • Every 24 minutes someone looks up self-care advice using Ask NHS
  • Every 28 minutes someone books / cancels a GP appointment
  • Every 70 minutes someone looks up their nearest Pharmacy, Dentist, Optician, GP, Urgent Treatment Centre or A&E using the service finder.
Rachael Ellis, Chief Officer of Transformation said:

The Launch of the Ask NHS app signals co-design and creation at its very best. This is the first integrated digital pathway in to 111 for patients to access the most appropriate service for their needs. It’s wonderful that ehi have chosen to celebrate our ground breaking work with this shortlisting.”

To download the app visit