Skip to the content

NHS App to include mental health and MSK services


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


Lord Markham
Lord Markham
Image source: GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

Digital services to support mental healthcare and the treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are to become available through the NHS App later this year.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Lord Markham outlined the plan in a speech at London Tech Week.

This is part of the Government’s effort to support the adoption of new technologies in delivering access to healthcare.

Markham said the first mental health and MSK products will be available through the NHS App later this year as part of a £225 million investment in technology for the conditions.

“This is a significant change, moving from these technologies only being available in some areas of the country, and for those who have been referred into a clinical pathway,” he said. “This demonstrates our commitment to scaling well evidenced technologies and breaking down commissioning barriers. And these two areas are only the start.

“We’ll pilot new, novel mental health technology that has potential to transform our model of care, enabling our citizens to have access years earlier to the most promising technologies.

“We’ll also be levelling up the use of digital tools within our existing NHS Mental Health Talking Therapies services so that people have support from day one whilst waiting for their appointment.”

Adding functions

The addition of the treatments to the NHS App will be the latest stage in the expansion of its functions. It was recently announced that it will be used to give patients more choice in the hospitals at which they could be treated, and last year DHSC announced a range of non-clinical functions to be added.

Markham added that NHS England is exploring other new technologies for possible adoption in treating a range of conditions, and pointed to the Digital Health Partnership Award having funded 43 projects with the potential to scale at pace.

“A key priority for technology funding is supporting health and care systems to ‘level up’ their digital maturity and ensure they have a core level of infrastructure, digitisation and skills by March 2025,” Markham said.

One element of this is a digital maturity assessment to help organisations baseline their current level of digital maturity against the What Good Looks Like guidance.

“The assessment is an essential tool for health and care systems to track their levelling up journey and will be repeated annually to track progress,” he said.

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.