Patients can now use an app when they feel unwell. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
NHS Health Help Now, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, provides people with details on the best place to go or who to contact for advice or treatment at any time of day or night.
The aim is to stop patients using the emergency departments at Kent’s hospitals, such as Darent Valley, needlessly.
It can be currently used on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers, but is expected to be developed for all mobile phones later this year.
Simply click on your symptoms and where you are and the app works out where you should go, including directions to the nearest pharmacy, walk-in centre, minor injury unit, or A&E if needed, across Kent and Medway.
It includes support phone numbers for those with mental health worries and contains information on common health conditions and web links to reliable resources.
Since its launch on December 13, it has been used more than 3,000 times by more than 2,100 people.
Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman and GP Dr Bhaskar Bora said health bosses were delighted with its success.
He added: “We know the NHS can seem confusing which is why many people unsure of where to go often end up at A&E with minor injuries or ailments.
“This web app tells them where to get the right treatment without having to wait in a busy A&E department. That helps them and also keeps A&E free for those who really need it.”