Health Help Now to close

Residents encouraged to sign up for the NHS App

The Health Help Now app will no longer be available from the end of June, following a decision by the NHS in North West London to decommission the service. Residents across the region are encouraged to sign up for the NHS App instead. 

Health Help Now was introduced to provide residents in North West London with digital support and signposting to a range of health services including symptom checkers, diabetes support and health advice. Unfortunately it has not been widely taken up across the eight boroughs and the local NHS no longer has the clinical resource to assure its clinical content or the financial resource to promote it. 

In the light of these concerns, the local NHS engaged with stakeholders and undertook an equality and health inequalities analysis (EHIA) screening exercise to consider the viability and future of Health Help Now. Stakeholders expressed the views that the lack of clinical oversight rendered the app clinically unsafe; the app user base was too low to be financially sustainable; and that user numbers were unlikely to increase due to the lack of available promotional funding. The EHIA indicated that the lack of clinical oversight rendered the app clinically unsafe for all user groups. 

The NHS in North West London therefore decided to decommission Health Help Now with effect from the end of June 2020. 

Kevin Jarrold, Joint Chief Information Officer of North West London Health and Care Partnership said: “Following the decision to close Health Help Now we need to concentrate on encouraging people to download and use the national NHS App which offers an excellent alternative that is backed by NHS England and NHSX.”

Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way for people to access a range of NHS services on a smartphone or tablet. These include repeat prescription ordering, appointment booking, symptom checkers, and advice about coronavirus. Depending on local arrangements, patients may also be able to access additional convenient features such as the ability to message their practice or healthcare professional and view their hospital and other healthcare appointments.

Patients are encouraged to download the NHS App from the App Store or Google Play. See more information about the NHS App here: 

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/