Students urged to use app to help with health care
Lincoln students are being urged to download a new NHS app for free to help tackle winter pressures.
ASAPLincs has been developed to help those who are unwell find the most appropriate treatment for their needs. This will help them avoid emergency departments.
It has been built using the very latest attendance data from Lincolnshire’s emergency departments alongside detailed behavioural research.
Users can identify their symptoms or condition from some of the most commonly seen in emergency departments. The app then displays the most appropriate local treatment service for them.
This could be particularly useful for students who may not know what services are available to them in Lincoln.
Fit and well
Ruth Cumbers, Urgent Care Programme Director for Lincolnshire, said: “Students are a big part of the population in Lincoln and helping to keep them healthy is important to the NHS.
“For some, the range of NHS services available in the city and surrounding areas may be confusing. They might not know where is best for them to go if they are unwell.
“ASAPLincs has been designed to provide an easy to use, trustworthy and quick method of finding the most appropriate place to go for treatment for a user’s needs.
“While we hope ASAPLincs can have an impact over winter, it can also help relieve some of the pressures on the system throughout the year.
“For example, whenever a student is unwell or gets injured playing sport, they can use the app or website knowing they will be signposted to the most appropriate place for their needs.
“Lots of research has been done into the way our brains operate. The results of that have been fed into the development of this app.
“That is why we are confident it can help us educate and advise patients that the emergency department is not necessarily the best place for them to be.
“We want students to be aware of and trust the alternatives. We want them to know when and where they are available.
“The app and website does all of this in an easily accessible way.”
To date, the app has been downloaded more than 6,500 times, while the website has been viewed more than 10,000 times.
Dr Sunil Hindocha, chief clinical officer at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, said it was important that all residents remembered the alternatives to A&E this winter.
He said: “There are lots of services available over the winter period to help patients get the treatment they need, meaning they do not need to automatically resort to A&E.
“They should only call 999 if it is an immediate life threatening emergency.
“Otherwise, residents should make use of the additional routine GP appointments that have been made available as part of the GP Extended Access service and the many pharmacists across the region who can give expert clinical advice on many minor conditions and ailments.
“Of course, self-care also plays an important role in keeping people healthy at winter. A medicine cabinet containing basic medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can help tackle some of the common minor ailments we see at this time of year.
“There is also NHS111 which has the Clinical Assessment Service embedded within it in Lincolnshire.”
“Alternatively, they can use the ASAPLincs app and website to help find out what service best meets their needs.”
The website can be accessed via www.asaplincs.nhs.uk while the ASAPLincs app is available on both Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded via your app store.