2.7 million use new NHS App feature for prescriptions in first two months

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Image credit: NHS Digital

More than 2.7 million people have already used a new prescription feature in the NHS App since its launch two months ago.

The convenient new feature, which was launched in January, allows patients in England to see when their prescriptions have been issued and view their prescribed medication.

Since the launch, there have been 18.4 million views of prescriptions by people with a nominated pharmacy, meaning their medication details are sent electronically to their chosen pharmacy.

Another 1.2 million views were by people without a nominated pharmacy, with those users now able to use a barcode in the app to collect their prescription from any pharmacy instead of needing a paper version.

New figures being released today also show that the NHS App now has more than 34 million registered users, with monthly logins rising by 79% in the last year from 16.2 million in February 2023 to 29 million in February 2024.

Patients across England are being reminded of the benefits of using the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions or access NHS advice during the Easter bank holiday weekend.

The number of repeat prescriptions ordered through the app grew by 44% from 2022 to 2023, with an average of 3.3 million now requested every month.

Each repeat prescription ordered electronically saves GP practices three minutes of time. Patients also save an average of 18 minutes with each online order, making it more convenient for patients and freeing up frontline staff to do other important duties.

Dr Vin Diwakar, National Transformation Director, at NHS England said: 

“We’re delighted to see so many people making use of the NHS App’s new prescription feature.

“The service is one of many features on the app, which is helping to reduce the administrative burden for general practice as well as making it easier for people to access NHS services.

“New features are being added to the NHS App regularly as the NHS encourages more people to use the app in their everyday lives – it is much more handy for patients and can help free up time on the frontline.

“Three quarters of adults now have the NHS App in their pocket and I’d encourage you to tap the app during the Easter bank holiday weekend and make use of the services on offer – whether ordering a repeat prescription or checking the latest health advice.”

In last month’s budget the Government announced the NHS will receive an additional £3.4 billion to invest in new tech and digital transformation, including making the NHS app a digital front door for patients.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins said: 

“I want to see access to NHS services made faster, simpler and fairer for patients, and so it’s great to see millions of people already using the new feature in the NHS App to manage their prescriptions.

“We are continuing to transform the way patients can access services across the NHS, including by investing in the latest technology and embracing the benefits of AI.”

Health Secretary Victoria. Picture by Lauren Hurley / DHSC. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

Another new feature recently added to the NHS App enables patients to see the average waiting time for their hospital treatment at the NHS acute trust they’ve been referred to by their GP. More patients can also now manage their hospital appointments in the NHS App.

There were six million appointments viewed or managed in the app in February 2024 compared to 1.8 million in February 2023 – an increase of 233%, with two thirds of NHS acute trusts now offering the service.

More details on how to register with the NHS App are available at www.nhs.uk/nhs-app

NHS advice over the Easter weekend remains the same – use NHS 111 online for any health needs in the first instance and 999 in life threatening emergencies.

Source: NHS / Public Health England

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