Number of prescriptions ordered via app doubles as new features are rolled out
More than seven million people signed up for the NHS app last year, taking the total number of users of the program past 30 million.
The government has announced that it has already hit its target of ensuring that, by March 2023, 68% of eligible users are registered for the app – which is available to everyone aged 13 and upwards and registered with a GP in England. The technology is “firmly on track” to meet the next objective of achieving 75% uptake by the end of this year.
During 2022, the app was used to book 1.7 million GP appointments, while 128,000 people registered their preference regarding post-mortem organ donation. The program was also used to order 22 million repeat prescriptions – more than double the nine million that were processed across 2021.
Features continue to be added, including additional functionality to be “added this year [that] will enable users to receive notifications from their GPs and view and manage their hospital appointments”. This capability is already on offer across 20 trusts around England, with another 24 to be added in the next couple of months.
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for transformation at NHS England, said: “It’s fantastic that the NHS App is already in the pockets of millions of people, providing easy access to crucial everyday NHS services like repeat prescriptions and GP appointment bookings. Our vision is to transform the NHS App into a front door for the NHS, with many exciting new features and changes planned – delivering on the NHS’ Long Term Plan commitment to continue to harness the power of technology for patients and staff – which remains at the heart of our plans to innovate patient care for the 21st century.”
The app was first launched at the end of 2018; by the star of the coronavirus crisis 15 months later, it had only been downloaded 250,000 times. This had risen to 2.5 million by May 2021, at which point the app began being used as the primary means of delivering the NHS Covid Pass vaccine certification.
Uptake of the program skyrocketed from this point, with the number of sign-ups exceeding 20 million by the end of last year.