Introducing Anima

Anima Privacy Policy Update (14/05/2024)

We understand that our patients may have some further questions and queries about the new Anima system and the safe use of data. Anima is updating its terms of service and privacy policy to make it clearer to understand how patient data is used. This is expected to be available by the end of next week and once available the Symphony team will update this webpage with the relevant details.

To provide some additional reassurance, we’ve also outlined below the way that data is used for the Anima patient application and online consultation (what Symphony uses) and how this is governed by our contract with Anima.

 This means that:

  • Our use of the system is governed by UK legislation;
  • Data for use of the system is stored within the UK;
  • No data for use of the application is transferred outside of the UK;
  • Anima is a processor of data and only process personal data to the extent that is required for us as your GP practice to provide you with the care that you need;
  • When you submit a request through Anima, your personal data is not shared with any third parties, nor are you subject to any advertising

 

We have also carried out an extensive contractual and information governance review to ensure that we are satisfied that patient data is safe and used for the intended purpose of supporting our staff to provide quick and accurate care for our patients.

For further assurance, Anima is available via the Government G-Cloud Framework which supports public bodies including providers within the NHS to identified pre-reviewed services and specifically states that the system meets gold standards for information governance and data security.

If you have any further concerns or questions, please contact SHS.AdminTeam@somersetft.nhs.uk

How to Submit a Request

How to Register Guide

To register for Anima, click on your practice specific link above or go to your practice website's homepage and click on the Anima link. You may also have received a link in an email or text from your practice.

There are several resources to help you get set up depending on what is easiest for you to follow:

Having trouble getting set up? The team at Anima are happy to help - just email support@animahealth.com

Other Useful Guides

Please see links to other useful guides from Anima below:

How do I add a dependant to my account? - https://anima.crisp.help/en/article/how-do-i-add-a-dependant-to-my-account-15s9ofh/

How to reset my password? - https://anima.crisp.help/en/article/ive-forgotten-my-anima-password-10ucf3v/

How can I add Anima to my phone's home screen? - https://anima.crisp.help/en/article/how-can-i-add-anima-to-my-phones-home-screen-n85uvg/

Patient Help Videos

Please click on the links below to watch short help videos produced by Anima:

How to create your account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=293KkkYtvfA

How to submit a request: https://youtu.be/zf_EQx7GOo4

What happens to your request: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A20J_r766UQ

How to book your appointment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9lC2nkK_iA

How to cancel your appointment (Short): https://www.youtube.com/shorts/E1XTIUKf3l4

How to add a dependent to your account (Short): https://www.youtube.com/shorts/KevBODBMkho

Anima Support Links

Please see some useful links to Anima's information and support pages for patients below:

Anima Main Site: https://www.animahealth.com/patients

Anima Patient Support Site: https://anima.crisp.help/en/category/patients-1ebxhu3/

Having trouble getting set up or logging in? The team at Anima are happy to help - just email support@animahealth.com

Got a question about Anima?

If you've looked through all of the communications, guides and FAQs on this page and still have a question that is unanswered, please follow the link to a short form to submit your query and we will look to update our FAQs as appropriate:

SSW PCN Anima Rollout - Patient Query Form

Please note this form is not for queries relating to difficulties in setting up or logging into your account. Please contact support@animahealth.com and the Anima team will be happy to help you.

Please follow the links below to access the login page for each respective surgery, you will also find opening hours and important updates regarding your practice's Anima system at these links once you have signed up and logged in:

Buttercross Health Centre

Crewkerne Health Centre

Hamdon Medical Centre

Martock & South Petherton Surgery

Please note that Anima has only been introduced in the four surgeries in the South Somerset West Primary Care Network which are listed above. If you are not a patient at one of these surgeries you will not be able to sign up to Anima - your surgery will continue to use it's current online consultation platform at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Register with Anima

Please follow the below guide to register for Anima, you will need to navigate to the sign up page for your practice. Links are available on this page underneath the How to Register video or via your practice's website homepage. There are two options when creating an account:

  • NHS App Login: If you already have an NHS app login, the easiest way to login to Anima is to use your NHS app login details. Click the Continue with NHS Login button and follow the prompts to complete registration this way. (This cuts down on the amount of information you have to input as it is already saved as part of your NHS App profile).
  • Email Account Login: If you do not want to use an NHS app login, you can continue with an email address. Please follow the steps below:
  1. Enter your email address into the Continue with Email box and click the blue Continue with Email button.
  2. Create a password, this must contain a mixture of upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers.
  3. Click Create account, you will receive a verification link from authenticate@animahealth.com to the email address that you entered, if you don't receive an email, check your spam or junk folders.
  4. Click the link in the email you receive, this will take you to a page confirming your registration.
  5. Go back to Anima and click Return to login page, enter your email address and password and Login.
  6. You will then be asked to enter some details onto a form which will be submitted to your practice, this includes your full name, DOB, postcode, mobile phone number and your NHS number if known.
  7. You will also need to select your GP practice, start typing the name of the practice in the box provided until you see it appear in a list of options. The practice postcode will be filled automatically.
  8. Once all fields are completed, tick the box to confirm you are over 18 and agree to Anima’s privacy policy and terms of use. Then click Create Account.
  9. You’re all set up! As long as your details have been correctly verified by Anima during the account creation process you will be able to login and send a request immediately. If your account needs manually verifying you will need to wait for the practice to do this (see FAQs below for more information)

Having trouble getting set up? The team at Anima are happy to help - just email support@animahealth.com

About Anima

What is Anima?

Anima is an online consultation platform that allows you to submit requests to your GP practice. Using Anima, you will be able to submit requests tailored to whatever medical problem or admin request you have. Anima will ask you all the same questions that a doctor or someone else at your GP practice would usually ask, meaning they will have all the information they need to help you and make a decision about next steps. Anima is able to help your GP manage health consultations, administrative tasks, send communication, all from one platform.

It's important to know that Anima is not an AI doctor: Anima does not make diagnoses, and Anima doesn't decide what should happen next. It is still your GP practice that decides on the most appropriate care for you.

All requests that you submit through Anima are sent to your GP practice, and a member of staff at your GP practice will be the one who reviews your request and decides what should happen next. Anima just makes the process quicker and more convenient for both you and your GP practice!

Why are you changing?

Demand for general practice services continues to increase, and our surgeries are experiencing the pressure that this is causing. We wish to provide the best service and care possible for our patients now and in the future, and therefore have reviewed our processes and systems to ensure that they are supporting us to achieve this. With this in mind, we have chosen to change our online consultation system to anima for a number of reasons, including:

  • anima’s focused questioning and automated features allow us to manage demand and ensure your request gets to the right member of staff as quickly as possible, based on clinical need.
  • To support our staff to have a more manageable and enjoyable working day for their health and wellbeing.
  • In turn, the system clinically prioritises request urgency and themes to enable the team to focus on giving our patients the best care and experience possible.
  • Using the same system within our Primary Care Network (which consists of Buttercross Health Centre, Crewkerne Health Centre, Hamdon Medical Centre and Martock & South Petherton Surgery) provides additional resilience for our teams and enables exciting new ways of working that can be offered to our patients in the future.

Anima allows your GP to get to your consultation or requests much faster than traditional methods. By using Anima, you are helping your GP save time by providing all of your information for your request all in one place. Anima helps your GP Surgery run more effectively and efficiently.

How does Anima work?

In order to utilise Anima’s many features and benefits you will need, an email address; a smartphone (with SMS capability) and/or a computer. You can submit both medical and administrative requests to your surgery through Anima.

Rather than asking you to explain your request in your own words, Anima works to identify your issue through asking a series of simple questions using easy to understand language. If you need to add more detail, you will still be able to add “free text” answers. Based on your responses, Anima triages your request and highlights its subject and urgency, ensuring you get the right care from the right member of the team more quickly, based on clinical need.

Your request is then reviewed by the appropriate clinician or member of the team and this member of staff has a number of tools available to them in order to “sign off and resolve” your request. This could include inviting you for an appointment; prescribing medication; signposting you to another service or providing access to self-care resources. The detail of your request and the decisions/actions the clinician makes is then saved automatically into your health record.

You can track the progress of your open requests, view messages and book/manage appointments all within a single log in to Anima. You can also access self-help advice and find details of other services near to you that may be able to get you the help you need.

Can I order repeat prescriptions through Anima?

No, you should continue to order repeat prescriptions through the existing routes specific to your surgery. The easiest way to order your repeat prescription is through the NHS App (https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-app/). Did you know that each repeat prescription ordered electronically saves a GP practice three minutes of work – this quickly builds up into a large chunk of time that can be used to support other important GP matters.

You are also still able to email or ring the practice to order repeat prescriptions. For further details please visit the “Services and Support” section of your Practice’s website.

Can I use Anima in an emergency?

No, whilst Anima can be used for all types of medical requests it is important to remember that requests may not be seen immediately. In an emergency you should contact the emergency services by dialling 999.

Anima will help you identify if your condition may be an emergency by asking specific questions at the start of your request which will help identify any “red flag” symptoms. If you select any of these symptoms as answers, the system will automatically signpost you to seek the help of the emergency services.

I don’t have a computer or smartphone/don’t want to use Anima – can I still ring the surgery?

Whilst we encourage our patients to use online methods of access, we aim to make access as easy as possible for everyone. Therefore you are able to ring the surgery or visit the practice in person, although you may find yourself waiting longer to speak to someone.

Is there an Anima app?

You do not need to download any programs or apps to login to your Anima account and there is no Anima app in the sense that you cannot download an app from your phone’s app store. You can access Anima by going to your practice’s website and clicking on the Anima banners/links or by visiting https://patients.animahealth.com/signIn

You can add Anima to your phone’s home screen by following the guide found here: https://anima.crisp.help/en/article/how-can-i-add-anima-to-my-phones-home-screen-n85uvg/

My Account

How do I register for Anima?

To register for Anima, go to your practice website and click on the link to Anima (this will be on the homepage). You may also have received a link in an email or text from your practice.

There are two options when creating an account:

  • NHS App Login: If you already have an NHS app login, the easiest way to login to Anima is to use your NHS app login details. Click the Continue with NHS Login button and follow the prompts to complete registration this way. (This cuts down on the amount of information you have to input as it is already saved as part of your NHS App profile).
  • Email Account Login: If you do not want to use an NHS app login, you can continue with an email address. Please follow the guide on this page or for a more visual guide of the process please visit the following link: https://anima.crisp.help/en/article/how-do-i-register-for-an-anima-account-as-a-patient-1p540f4/

What is a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use? Why do I have to tick this box?

Legally we need to have an agreement with you and your consent to use this service. We advise all patients to read the terms of use and privacy policy when creating their account. These documents can also be found at the following links: https://www.animahealth.com/privacy-policy & https://www.animahealth.com/terms-of-service

I didn’t receive a verification code/link to my email address

Please wait 5 minutes after submitting your request to receive your verification code/link. If no emails from Anima appear in your Inbox, check your Junk and Spam folders in your email account.

If no emails appear in your Inbox (or Junk/Spam folders), re-submit your restore password request and verify you are using the correct email address, which is linked to your Anima account.

If you are still having trouble, the team at Anima are happy to help - just email support@animahealth.com

Can I still use Anima if I don’t have a mobile phone?

Yes, during the sign up process, you will be asked for both an email address and mobile phone number. This is so your GP practice can let you know when a member of staff has made a decision/acted on the request you have submitted. If you do not have a mobile phone, the practice use your email address to notify you.

Can I access Anima through the NHS App?

No, whilst you can use the same details that you already use to log in to the NHS App for log in to Anima, currently you are unable to submit requests through Anima to your surgery within the NHS App.

I share an email address with someone else, can we use the same email address to sign up?

To help us with patient verification and to ensure that information sent to you by your GP practice remains secure, each account created with Anima needs to be related to a unique email address. If you share an email address with someone else, and do not want to create a new email account for yourself, you have two options:

  • If you have a Gmail email address (e.g. ending in @gmail.com), you can use the + character to create different addresses which come into the same inbox. For example, if your address is johnandmarysmith@gmail.com, you could register John with the email johnandmarysmith+john@gmail.comand Mary with the email johnandmarysmith+mary@gmail.com. You will need to remember which extension you have used when you login to Anima, but will not need to make any changes to your email or inbox.
  • One user can register and then add another user as their dependant. This means that the 'primary' user will be able to submit Anima requests on behalf of the dependant account.

How do I reset my password?

Visit the Anima login page via the link on your practice website or by visiting https://patients.animahealth.com/signIn. Find the section that says Already have an account? and click the red Forgot your password link. Enter your email address in the box that appears and click “Send password reset code”.

Now check your email inbox for a verification code from authenticate@animahealth.com. Enter the verification code you have received into the verification code box in Anima and then reset your password. Ensure that your password is at least 8 characters long and contains a mixture of upper case, lower case and numbers.

How do I update the details on my account?

You can change details such as your email address, phone number and other preferences when logged into your Anima account.

To change your email address associated with the account, click Settings on the left hand side and then Login settings. You can then update the email address in the “Update your email address” box and click the blue CONFIRM NEW EMAIL button – please note you will need to verify the new email address by following the prompts that open on the screen.

To change your phone number and other preferences, click Settings and then Your preferences. You can update your phone number, preferred name and residence status here. Make sure to click Save Changes at the bottom of the page!

How do I know my account is secure?

Anima is an NHS-approved software provider used by 1 million+ patients across the UK. We uphold the highest data security standards set by the NHS. We sign specific agreements with practices and only collect the data we need in order to enable your practice to provide you with care.

For an extra layer of security and peace of mind, we recommend you setting up two-factor authentication. You can set this up by logging into your Anima account, selecting Settings and then Multi-factor authentication.

You can also make use of Authenticator apps - Google Authenticator is our preferred authenticator app and the official guide to help set this up can be found at https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1066447?hl=en&ref_topic=2954345&sjid=17431653728592160864-EU&co=GENIE.Platform%3DiOS&oco=0

How do I add a dependant to my account?

You can add dependants to your Anima account if they are registered at the same GP practice as you, at the same address as you. Once you add someone as a dependant, you will be able to submit Anima requests on their behalf - this may be useful to submit requests for children, or elderly relatives for example. Any emails or messages received will go to the account owner’s registered contact details.

Once you are logged in to Anima, go to Settings and then Dependants & children. Click the blue Add new dependant button and fill out the form in full, you will need to know the person’s full name, DOB, NHS number and postcode (if this is different to yours). You will need to check the box at the end to confirm they are registered at your practice. Any new dependant you set up must not have an existing individual Anima account.

Why is Anima saying my or my dependant’s account couldn’t be verified?

Anima automatically verifies the information that you submit with the information that your GP practices has about you. Sometimes this doesn't exactly match - you may have changed names, or registered at your practice with your middle name for example! If you see a message saying you haven't been verified - don't worry. Your practice will have been sent your registration and they will be able to manually verify your account if you are registered at their practice.

Please do not contact your practice if this happens to you - your practice will have been notified and will verify your account when they are able to.

Submitting & Managing Requests

What requests can I submit in Anima?

Anima is available to submit a range of both medical and administrative requests. When submitting your request you can use the search bar to find what you are looking for, or view a list of request topics which you can choose from. This search is smart and will often point you in the right direction for which category you should be selecting. If you don’t think your request fits any of the topics in the list you have the option to submit a request using free text answers.

When can I submit requests in Anima?

You can submit medical and admin requests during your GP Surgery’s online consultation hours, these will be displayed on your surgery’s website and on your Anima dashboard once logged in under the Practice Details tab.

This period of time is limited to a portion of the day to make sure that the surgery can manage all of the incoming requests from patients. If you find that you are unable to submit a request you can still ring the surgery or try again online the next day. Anima is not intended for use during emergencies, if you are in need of immediate help, please dial 999.

How many requests can I submit?

To begin with, we have decided to limit patients to submitting one medical and one administrative request at any one time. This means that until a request is resolved a patient will be unable to submit another request of the same type.

This limit applies at the individual patient level, so an account holder that has two dependants would still be able to submit a medical request for each dependant, even if they had an active request themselves. This is to help to limit the chance for duplicate requests and ensure the workload remains manageable for our teams as we adopt a new system.

We recommend that you avoid adding detail of additional requests as free text answers at the end of a medical request as these may not be picked up and triaged in the correct way. If you genuinely have multiple medical requests that you need to discuss, please submit your main concern via Anima and then phone the surgery to submit any others – our receptionists have the ability to override the request limits in this scenario.

Can I submit a request for someone else?

Yes, you can submit a request for someone else such as a child or elderly relative but they must be set up as a dependant on your Anima account. To do this please refer to the How do I add a dependant to my account? question in these FAQs or visit https://anima.crisp.help/en/article/how-do-i-add-a-dependant-to-my-account-15s9ofh/

Why can I not submit a request to my surgery?

Once logged in to your Anima account, you occasionally may not be able to submit a new medical or admin request. This can be for a number of reasons:

  • The surgery’s window for online requests is closed or the surgery itself is closed and outside of normal operating hours.
  • The amount of consultations has exceeded the limit the practice has set for the day.
  • The amount of consultations has exceeded the limit that can be active at your surgery at any given time
  • You have exceed the personal limit on the amount of open requests a patient can submit to your Surgery.

These limitations are in place for patient safety reasons. Anima is not intended for use in an emergency, please dial 999 if you believe you are in an emergency situation.

Can I write my request in my own words?

We strongly encourage you to follow the questions you are asked by Anima and answer as accurately as possible as this allows the system to triage your request most effectively. However if you have further information that is not covered by the questions you are asked, at the end of your request there is the opportunity to provide additional context to your request using free text answers.

We have currently chosen to turn off the option to ask a simple question to drive the efficiency that comes from allowing Anima to automatically triage requests where possible. Anima can only do this effectively when you follow the flow of questions relevant to the request you are making.

Can I use Anima to book appointments?

Anima cannot be used to book appointments without being invited to do so by the surgery. As part of the sign off of your request you may be offered an appointment or invited by the practice to book an appointment yourself if this is clinically appropriate. You may also be invited to book further investigations such as blood tests.

Whilst you can indicate in your request whether you would like an appointment, the clinician dealing with your request will ultimately decide whether your request requires a face to face or telephone consultation or whether the request can be dealt with virtually.

What happens to my request once it is submitted?

Once your request is submitted, you don’t have to do anything until you hear from your practice. Depending on the subject of your request and your answers it may be automatically sorted to appear in the dashboard of the most relevant team members. If the request needs further triaging, it will be reviewed by an experienced clinician to determine the correct member of the team to assign the request to.

Your request will be assigned based on clinical need and reviewed by a clinician as soon as possible. Whilst Anima works to summarise your request for the clinician, it makes no decisions or diagnoses. These are left to your clinician who will review your responses and decide whether they need any more information – this may result in the clinician messaging you through Anima or contacting you separately. Once the clinician has all the information they need, they will sign off your request with a number of options, in some cases this will be communicated to you for your approval (e.g. if a new prescription is suggested)

Whilst your request is open, you can view its progress by logging into your Anima dashboard and clicking on Your requests.

Will the person dealing with my request be able to see my past medical history?

Yes, Anima is fully integrated with the electronic health record system that your practice uses, meaning that staff can view your full medical history without having to leave their Anima dashboard. Clinicians will always review your request within the wider context of medical history in order to come to the appropriate clinical decision.

I have a message in my account, how do I review it?

Sometimes your practice will need to send you messages within Anima, for example to ask for further information or to confirm appointment details. You should make sure that you check these messages in case you need to take any action.

You will receive an email and SMS notification that a message is waiting in your account. For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we won't display the full message in the email and SMS messages that you receive from Anima. To view the messages from your practice, you need to log in to your Anima account and go to the 'In progress' section. Look for requests that have a red 'Respond' button next to them to see messages from your practice.

What if I do not have access to the internet?

This is not a problem, please do not fret. Although its always handy to skip the queue on our busy phone lines by submitting requests yourself, our receptionists are always available and happy to help! They will simply submit a request on your behalf so that all requests are treated in the same way

If I ring up, why am I asked questions about my problem or condition by a non-clinical member of staff?

As all requests are treated in the same way, our reception team will be following the questions that anima asks. It is very important and helpful to our clinical team if you provide our receptionists with as much information as you can - everything you share with our reception team is confidential, just as it is with our clinical team. Please remember that our receptionists are integral members of the team here to ensure things run smoothly and that our clinicians are well informed.

Past Communications

Anima in Numbers

Anima Data Infographic

Anima Leaflet

Anima Leaflet Page 1

Anima Leaflet Page 2

askmyGP Closure (Hamdon & Martock/SP)

Why Change to Anima?

Why Change to Anima Poster

Benefits of Anima

Anima Benefits Poster