- myGP TICKet is being piloted for use in a care home setting in England
- Barchester Healthcare and Lillian Faithful care homes will be piloting the technology with staff across England
The UK’s largest independent healthcare management app, myGP, is releasing England’s first vaccine verification feature within their app next month. The myGP TICKet feature – which will enable anyone in England who is registered with a GP to communicate their vaccination status, simply and securely, via their smartphone – is being piloted next week with care homes across the UK, including the 2nd largest private care home group, Barchester Healthcare, and Lillian Faithful, a care home charity based in Cheltenham and Stroud. The myGP TICKet feature will act as a clinically assured means of proving vaccination status, displayed in real-time, generated directly from a patient’s NHS medical record.
Both care homes are trialling the feature to help better understand the vaccination status of their employees as England treads through the roadmap set out by The Prime Minister.
A recent YouGov survey stated that two thirds of Britons are in favour of vaccination passports, with 72% of them agreeing that they should be required to visit a care home. The myGP TICKet feature – which will be publicly available next month, following the completion of the pilot trials – is an obvious choice for care homes and other health and care facilities who need to ensure the safety of their residents, staff and visitors.
Simon McCall, Commercial Director of Barchester Healthcare, who are among the first to mandate vaccination for all employees, comments: Given that our residents fall primarily in the highest risk group for COVID-19, it would be irresponsible of us not to mandate vaccination for those employees for whom it is medically safe. We have a duty of care to our residents and service users that we take very seriously and are keen to find a solution that can show vaccination status quickly and securely via your phone, and the fact that the myGP app has NHS assurance makes this the most obvious choice for us to pilot to understand better. We want our staff to understand the benefits of the vaccine and we have been working hard to better educate them on what this could mean for them, and for our residents.”
Due to the vulnerability of residents, care homes were the first priority group for receiving the vaccination in England, resulting in 95% of care homes having had all their residents vaccinated[i]. However, last month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was on record stating that almost a third of social care staff in England had not yet been vaccinated.
Discussing vaccine uptake, Martin Hughes, CEO of Lillian Faithful Care adds “As a care home group we’re very enthusiastic about trialling new technology, so we are delighted to be piloting the myGP TICKet with a few of our staff. We believe this app will help in the future with streamlining our visit process and also help our staff travel smoothly whilst on their holidays. By Tuesday 23 March, over 200 of our care home residents will have been offered and received both vaccinations, protecting them from Covid-19. With this protection, care home visits back on, our adult day care hubs re-open and now being part of this pilot – we’re on track to a brighter 2021 for our residents, staff and families.”
Indeed, the feature has broad use cases, including domestic and foreign travel, socialising, return-to-work schemes for indoor environments. It is anticipated that the introduction of this feature will also reduce the burden on NHS GP practices, who otherwise might be inundated with requests for vaccination certifications as people begin to return to everyday life around the country.
Hillary Cannon, Director of the myGP TICKet initiative at iPLATO Healthcare, comments on why it could be a game-changer for people in England: “We couldn’t be prouder to be England’s first provider of vaccine verification or to pilot this technology within care home settings. Our elderly relatives have been shielding such a long time and, now that many are receiving their second dose, it’s we are delighted to be of some help in bringing a sense of ‘normal back into their lives. We hope that these pilot schemes will pave the way for vaccination verification to become best practice within a care setting and beyond, as we are very much of the opinion that vaccination is the safest possible way to bring British business back from lockdown. We are in a number of discussions with business leaders from the hospitality, sport, and events sectors to determine how we might be able to help them safely return to at-capacity events as well.”
myGP is developed by Hammersmith-based iPLATO Healthcare. Currently assured by the NHS to give 97 percent of patients in England access to their own medical records – a service already accessed by more than 2 million patients in England. It also allows patients to request and book GP appointments, track their weight, request repeat prescriptions, and access other complementary healthcare services, such as online therapy, physiotherapy, nutrition and weight management support, virtual diagnostics, and more.
Full roll-out of myGP TICKet is due in April. NHS patients can register to be notified when the technology is live, here: www.myGP.com/ticket.
Businesses owners interested in using the new feature can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a meeting and for further information.