AskFirst is a new app commissioned by NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help patients get the right healthcare they need at the right time. It has been developed by Belvedere Medical Centre and leading IT company, Sensely. Using the app can help patients take more control of their own health.
We are working hard to make sure that patients in Bexley get the right service when they need it. For patients that need to see a GP, Nurse or Healthcare Assistant we want to make sure that they can get access via their mobile phone or smart devices.
We have been commissioned to develop and deliver AskFirst to support patients, registered with a Bexley GP, get easier access to primary care services.
The AskFirst app is free to download and offers digital access to your local GP practice. Features available via the app include;
- Booking of routine appointments (with Doctors, Nurses, other clinicians or admin staff)
- Booking of urgent GP appointments (via the Symptom Checker)
- Online Symptom Checker with signposting to relevant care service (A&E, Urgent Care and more)
- Self-care advice
- Cancel/amend your appointments
- Book health reviews (NHS Health Checks, blood pressure check, new baby check and more)
How does it work?
The app allows patients to take control of their health and care by offering digital access to their GP practice. Once logged in, patients have access to a variety of services offered to them by their GP practice without the need for phoning or visiting.
What are the benefits of using AskFirst?
AskFirst offers many benefits which serve you, your practice and other patients.
AskFirst benefits you because:
- BOOK DIRECT - You can book routine appointments in less than 5 minutes
- AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT - Choose the appointments you want, with the clinician you want
- SAVE TIME - You will avoid long waits in telephone queues or in queues at the practice
- INSTANT CARE - You get instant referrals to onward care services an cut out any unneccesary consultations in between which means improved care.
- 24/7 CARE - Use AskFirst anytime, day or night. The app is available 24/7, 7 days a week
AskFirst benefits your practice and other patients because:
- The phone lines will be freed up for the elderly, frail, patients with disabilities or those without internet access
- Appointment usage will be better monitored resulting in improved efficiency in your practice resulting in better care for all
- Admin staff will have more time to work on administrative duties like communicating with you about yours and other patients' care
Where do I get the app from?
AskFirst is available on both IOS, Android phones and smart devices like iPads/Tablets. It is free to download. There is also a web version which can be accessed on PC/Laptop available at https://www.sensely.com/askfirst.
What exactly can I do via AskFirst?
AskFirst offers all of the clinical and administrative services your practice does in exactly the way. This includes;
- Book routine appointments (cervical screening, contraception, immunisations, wound care, stitch/staple removal and physio)
- Checking your symptoms and being referred to an urgent care service where necessary
- Booking an appointment with a GP if deemed necessary by the Symptom Checker
- Booking NHS Health Checks, blood pressure check, new patient check and 8 week baby check
- Seek travel advice, self-care advice and find local services (dentist, pharmacy, opticians)
- Other bookable routine appointments include; long term condition review, mental health check-up and learning disability annual health check
- Amend/cancel appointments
- Choose your own virtual healthcare assistant
- Make general requests and administrative queries
How does the symptom checker work?
AskFirst enables patients to interact with a virtual healthcare assistant which asks a series of questions (approximately 15) to assess the patient's symptoms. Using NICE accredited evidence based protocol, based on the responses, the healthcare assistant will recommend the most appropriate onward care which includes self-care advice, appropriate GP appointment, GP call back, advice from NHS.uk and direction to urgent or emergency care.
For patients that need to see a GP, it is able to prioritise into more urgent appointment slots based on their needs and offer less urgent needs a later appointment. Patients are able to directly book an appointment without having to call the practice. In addition, a transcript of the questions and answers is sent to the patient's practice, helping to make the consultation more efficient and effective.
Who can access the app?
If your practice has connected to AskFirst you will be able to book GP appointments if appropriate. Anyone can download and use the symptom checker.
When can I use the app?
The app is available to access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on your personal device.
"How To" Videos
Explore more about the AskFirst app with the 'How To' tutorial videos below. For more videos, visit the official AskFirst YouTube page. (Please note on-screen menu options may differ due to version updates)
Getting Started with AskFirst
(Downloading and creating an account)
Book a Routine Appointment with AskFirst
Booking Routine Appointments - Extended
(Test results, medication reviews and nurse appointments)
Book an Urgent Appointment with AskFirst