AskFirst App

AskFirst is a new app commissioned by NHS Buckinghamshire (CCG) to help patients get the right healthcare they need at the right time. It has been developed by a local GPs 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 Buckinghamshire get the right service when they need it. For patients that need to see a GP we want to make sure that they can get access through their mobile phone or smart devices.

We have been commissioned to develop and deliver AskFirst to support patients, registered with a Buckinghamshire GP, get easier access to primary care services.

The AskFirst app is free to download and features an interactive symptom checker which triages the patient to the most appropriate onward care service (self-care, NHS111, accident and emergency) within appropriate timescale, effectively helping patients to choose the right service in Buckinghamshire.

What is AskFirst?

The app enables patients to interact with a virtual health care assistant called Olivia, she asks a series of questions (approximately 15) to assess your symptoms. Using NICE accredited evidence based protocol, based on your responses, Olivia will recommend the most appropriate onward care which includes self-care advice, advice from, direction to urgent or emergency care or an appointment with your GP. The app is available to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Why are you introducing AskFirst?

Our GP surgery has been experiencing a significant number of calls and patient visits to the surgery, in turn making the 8am rush frustrating for patients. We believe this change will significantly improve your experience by cutting down waiting times and making appointments more readily available.

Who can use the AskFirst app?

Anyone with a compatible device and active email address can use AskFirst. Each person will need a seperate email address to create a login. Family members cannot share an account.

What can I use AskFirst for?

Currently at Cross Keys Practice we offer the following services via the AskFirst app:

  • Check your symptoms and be offered an appointment if necessary 
  • Get self care advice
  • Submit general enquires and admin requests such as sick notes, request test results and updating your contact details
  • Book routine telephone and face to face appointments with your chosen GP
  • Book appointments with our nursing team such as blood tests, vaccinations, cervical smears, blood pressure checks and asthma reviews
  • Book a telephone medication review with a GP
  • Book your annual flu and/or covid vaccination
  • Book an NHS Health Check
  • Manage your upcoming appointments
  • Service finder (for local pharmacies, mental health services, sexual health services etc.)

Can I book an appointment with my GP?

Yes! For new symptoms you should use the symptom checker. Ask First is able to prioritise into more urgent appointment slots based on the patients needs and offer less urgent needs a later appointment. In addition, a transcript of the questions and answers is sent to the patients practice, helping to make the consultation more efficient and effective. For ongoing, routine symptoms or for a follow up you are able to directly book these appointments via the "book routine appointment" tab. You will then be able to choose a date, time, location and clinician that suits you.

How do I download the app?

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store depending on your device. If you do not have a device that downloads apps you can click here to be taken to the web version.

Patient-led referrals to local pharmacies via AskFirst

Cross Keys Practice patients are now able to self-refer for same day appointment booking with a local community pharamacist offering an enhanced NHS service called Pharmacy First. Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines with upwards of five years of training. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of minor illnesses and ailments, and a same day consultation can be arranged quickly and at a time to suit you. Appointments with the pharmacist can be made for things such as:

  • Cold or Flu symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Diarrhoea
  • Skin / Rash issues
  • Hayfever
  • Constipation

Appointments can be booked via the AskFirst app using the "routine appointments" tab or by clicking here to be taken to the web version.