User base of electronic system sees thirteenfold increase in the space of a year
Half the population of England now has access to digital health services via the NHS login system, with the user base having increased about thirteenfold in the space of a year.
Figures released by NHS Digital reveal that 28 million people have signed up for a digital login – compared with a total of just 2.2 million in September 2020. A major driver of uptake has been the NHS app, which has seen its number of users skyrocket following the launch of the Covid Pass digital vaccine certification.
The mobile software, which requires the use of NHS login, is available to everyone aged 13 and upwards and registered with a GP in England.
The app had little more than two million users when the government first indicated that it would be used as the primary means through which citizens could demonstrate their vaccine status; this figure has since swelled to 16 million.
A further 12 million people have signed up elsewhere for an online login, which NHS Digital said “provides people with a quick and secure single point of access to a variety of digital health and care websites and apps using just one email address and password”.
A total of 45 online services and apps are available via NHS Login, including managing prescriptions and referrals for hospital appointments, obtaining the latest advice on coronavirus, and accessing maternity and children’s health services.
Melissa Ruscoe, head of the login programme at NHS Digital, said: “We are pleased to see such a massive uptake in people managing their healthcare needs digitally throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with around half of people in England now able to access digital healthcare services through NHS login. Through the services integrated with NHS login people can book GP appointments, order lateral flow tests, register their organ donation preferences, and much more. This helps free up valuable time for GP practice staff and provides a simple and efficient way for people to take control of their healthcare and access services easily and securely.”