NHS App turns three with 22 million users

More than 22 million people have now signed up to the NHS App, with over 18 million new registrations since the NHS COVID Pass was added on 17 May.

The NHS App, which is managed by NHS Digital, was also the most downloaded free iPhone app this year.

Users are benefitting from easier access to NHS services, with the NHS App providing quick and secure access to a variety of digital health services, including booking appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions, as well as accessing the NHS COVID Pass.

Since the NHS App was launched, a total of 10.4 million repeat prescriptions have been ordered and 1.1 million GP appointments have been booked via the App, saving valuable time for patients and clinicians. In the past six months, 6.2 million repeat prescriptions have been ordered and 641,000 GP appointments have been booked.

Additionally, a total of 316,000 people have used the NHS App to manage their organ donation decision, with over 170,000 registrations in the last six months. Registering a preference helps NHS specialist nurses to quickly understand what people want to happen to their organs, and enables them to discuss their wishes directly with their family.

More than 140 million COVID Passes have been generated through the NHS App and NHS website since the service was added this May. The NHS COVID Pass is used for sharing COVID-19 vaccination records or test results when travelling abroad or attending certain events and venues domestically.

Since 15 December, to enter certain venues and events in England, those aged 18 and over have needed to use their COVID Pass to show either their vaccination status, result from a PCR or rapid lateral flow test within the last 48 hours, or exemption from vaccination.

Simon Bolton, Interim Chief Executive at NHS Digital, said: “The NHS App was one of the most downloaded apps this year, with more than 22 million people using it. The NHS App has played a central role in the fight against COVID-19 helping to enable international travel and access to major events. It has also changed the way millions of adults in England access healthcare services in the three years since its launch, with people using the NHS App to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, access the NHS COVID Pass service and register organ donation decisions.”

Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall, said: “Technology has been a lifeline for so many during the pandemic and, crucially, it has helped us in our fight against COVID-19.

“Many of us are grateful for how communications technology allowed us to keep in touch with loved ones. In addition, better technology has also helped improve our system of healthcare by allowing clinicians to remotely monitor the health of patients, enabling people to order prescriptions online and to access their COVID-19 vaccine records, making events and travel safer.

“We are committed to continuing to build on the progress we’ve seen to transform the health and social care sector and we must all continue to do our part to keep everyone safe – Get Boosted Now.”

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said: “We developed the NHS COVID Pass at extraordinary speed, and have kept updating it to meet the changing needs of the country as we deal with the pandemic. It is now an important tool in keeping people safe in the face of the Omicron variant.”