From booking appointments to renewing your prescription, online services can help you manage your healthcare more quickly and easily. 

In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the internet for your health needs. This includes using online services to get information and support, finding health advice and booking appointments online. 


  • Use your local NHS website or app
  • Book appointments at the doctors, dentists and more
  • Get support and advice

Read time:

8 mins

Chapter 1

Managing your healthcare online

Read time:

8 mins

Why manage your healthcare online?

Many doctors and dentists let you access their services online. This means you get the help you need without having to spend time on the phone, or having to visit their clinic in person. You can also keep your documents and details on your mobile device to use them easily on the move.

Here are some websites and apps that can help you manage your healthcare online. 


Using the NHS website 

As our national health service, the NHS online service is the first place to go for all your health needs online. Each country in the UK has their own NHS website, with details about the services they offer. You can also find information about different health issues and get support through '111' - an NHS service where you can speak to medical professionals. But if it’s an emergency, you should always phone 999.

Each website in the UK offers slightly different things. If you can't find what you need, it's helpful to refer back to the NHS website, as this is a main hub for the other websites.


Find your local site here:

Use your local NHS website to search for health services and guides

The benefits of the different UK country NHS websites

    • Find information on the NHS and their services
    • Find out more about health, health care and social care
    • Get access to and use health and care services 
    • Find out more about what to do when health events happen 
    • Get support to live a healther lifestyle 
    • Find services and details of what they offer 
    • Share feedback on the services you've received 
    • Find links to more specialist support and information
    • Get help understanding your rights about your treatments and care
    • Order prescriptions 
    • Access NHS 111 to get medical help
    • Get coronavirus support
    • Check your symptoms
    • Get coronavirus support
    • Find out more about the NHS 111 service
    • Find out more about health, health care and social care
    • Find out more about living a healthier lifestyle
    • Find services near you 
    • Ask health questions
    • Share feedback on the services you have received 
    • Find our more about health care and symptoms 
    • Find out more about tests and treatments 
    • Find out more about living a healthy lifestyle 
    • Get access to health news and events 
    • Keep up to date with national health news 
    • Find services that are local to you
    • Get help understanding your rights about your treatments and care
    • Access self-help guides
    • Get support with coronavirus
    • Find out about your local services and how to use them
    • Find out more about local health and social care services
    • Get support with coronavirus
    • Find useful links that can help you to get health care help 
    • Find out more about living a healthier lifestyle

Calling 111

As well as the NHS websites, you can get access to medical advice by calling '111', or using their online 111 services if you live in EnglandScotland  and Wales. They can also transfer you to other services through their phone line. You don't need to have a GP to use 111. 


Call 111 if you need to:

  • Discuss symptoms you’re worried about
  • Discuss worries about a long-term condition
  • Get end-of-life care, or report a death
  • Report child protection or vulnerable adult concerns

Only use the online 111 services for advice that’s not urgent.

The NHS app

If you live in England or the Isle of Man, you have access to an NHS app through your device's app store. 


You can use the NHS app to:

  • Get Coronavirus support and access to details like your vaccination records and test results
  • Order repeat prescriptions
  • Book appointments with your GP
  • Get advice on your health
  • View your health records
  • Register your choices on donating organs
  • Manage what personal details the NHS has on you and your health
  • View your NHS number, which some NHS services ask you for
  • If your GP or hospital offers services through the app, you can use it to talk to them and book/manage appointments or care plans


Booking appointments online

In England, you should be able to use the NHS app to book appointments and manage your medicines. Outside of England and where the NHS app doesn’t work, you may still be able to book appointments online. It just depends on your local health services.

Nowadays, most doctors, dentists and other healthcare agencies have online services. Some let you book and change appointments. Others show contact details and important information. Some might not have a website, but you can find their contact details through an online search. From there, you can contact them and get the support you need.


How to find local services online

  • Use the NHS app
  • Use your local NHS website
  • Go straight to their website 
  • Use a search engine


Looking up medical advice online

The internet can really help you with your health. You can use it to, look up symptoms or find local services. Just be careful how you use it. Online services can’t replace or match the support of a doctor or healthcare services. And non-NHS websites don’t always have the best or most up-to-date advice. 


Online vs. in- person help

When you see a doctor in person, they look at any issues you might have. This helps them get a better picture of what you need and offer their expert advice. The internet, though convenient, only gives you general advice. You can’t use it to get a clear picture of what’s wrong.


Always speak to a healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis and care plan.

Test your knowledge

Answer this question by selecting one answer from the three options provided.

That's not quite right!

Managing your healthcare online doesn't mean you can do everything online, but you can see some types of medical information on your devices.

That's right!

Managing your healthcare online can be useful if you need to access your medical information at home or out and about.

Lesson complete! 

Well done for finishin this lesson. You should now have the basics of where you can go for support with your health online. Why not keep your learning going with our lesson 'Managing your bills and utilities online'? It will help you compare utility companies and find the right ones for you. It will also help you manage your bills online. 


Up next for you:

Next lesson: Managing your bills and utilities online

Back to: Get started online


Bank of Scotland Academy is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Bank of Scotland does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 8th November 2023.