The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said the number of sign-ups by patients to use the NHS App has now surpassed 30 million, including seven million during 2022.
In a joint announcement with NHS England and NHS Digital it also pointed to plans to add a number of new features to the app.
The department said the increase in sign-ups places the NHS on track to meet the target of 75% of people in England to be registered to use the app by 2024.
It is supporting NHS staff by freeing up clinicians’ time and giving patients greater control over the health and care records.
This has been reflected in over 65 million views of GP records having been recorded since the launch of the app in 2018
In addition, a total of 1.7 million GP appointments were booked through the NHS App during 2022 and 22 million repeat prescriptions ordered, up from nine million the previous year. In addition, 128,000 registered for organ donations through the app.
DHSC also said that in the course of this year the app will take in functions for booking flu vaccinations and accessing correspondence such as pre-consultation questionnaires. These will come in addition to features in the early stages of national roll out – now available within 20 NHS trusts with 20 more to come by March – for viewing referrals and hospital appointments, booking appointments and finding supporting information such as hospital maps.
This follows the introduction of functions over the past year such as accessing GP records and booking Covid-19 jabs and reflects an element of its Plan for Digital Health and Social Care published last June.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Technology is transforming the way we use the NHS and with over 30 million sign ups to the NHS App across the country, including seven million this year alone, there is huge potential to modernise services for patients and staff.”
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for transformation at NHS England, said: “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.”