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NHS Digital annual report and accounts 2020-21

Highlights of our achievements over the last financial year.


Our 2020-21 Annual Report and Accounts describes a year in which we delivered NHS infrastructure and services to continue supporting the NHS' response to the pandemic. Here are some highlights from the report of our key achievements: 

Helping the public

  • nearly 1 billion visits to the NHS website by people looking for information about COVID-19 - currently, there are more than 17 million visits every 4 weeks to COVID-19 pages
  • 4.3m downloads of the NHS App with an additional 23.5 million downloads from 01 April 2021 to 30 January 2022
  • 2.7 million people had an NHS login account with a verified identity by the end of 2021-22 - this is now 23.4 million people
  • 19,000 people a day using NHS 111 online

Delivering new infrastructure and services

  • supported the design, delivery and operation of the digital services underpinning COVID-19 testing - by March 2021, the platform had processed more than 110 million test results and we're now up to 444 million tests
  • led delivery of the digital services for COVID-19 vaccinations, including designing and developing the patient-facing booking portal and creating the service’s integrated IT infrastructure; 30 million vaccinations had been processed by March 2021, and we've now reached 138 million jabs
  • expanded and improved the Shielded Patients List, allowing vulnerable patients to get the support they needed

Enabling research through data

  • collected 10 new datasets to support the pandemic response. Public-facing data dashboards provide vital information on the pandemic, in addition to private dashboards for health and policy professionals
  • new Trusted Research Environments improved our service for researchers looking at COVID-19’s impact on cardiovascular patients and at cancer treatments
  • NHS DigiTrials service supported vital COVID-19 research, including the RECOVERY and PRINCIPLE COVID-19 treatment trials
  • the COVID-19 Vaccine Registry allowed more than 800,000 volunteers to sign up to take part in COVID-19 vaccine trials

Equipping clinicians

  • 240,000 views per week of the Summary Care Record application by clinicians - that's now up to 288,000 views a week
  • 60% more advice and guidance requests were made by GPs to hospital consultants through the NHS e-Referral Service
  • developed the digital and data services underpinning COVID-19 [email protected], which helps monitor patients with COVID-19 in their homes
  • 5-fold increase in the frequency of releases of SNOMED CT clinical codes to the NHS

Providing reliable IT

  • 30% increase in transactions on the NHS Spine
  • achieved 99.96% average availability across all our live services
  • established a new IT Operations Centre (ITOC) to ensure smooth running of COVID-19 digital infrastructure
  • completed the migration to the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN)
  • helped Nightingale Hospitals, vaccination and testing sites get connected and provided connectivity upgrades for 350 NHS sites to support COVID-19 response
  • moved more than 2 million NHSmail accounts to Exchange Online without disruption, the largest migration of its type in the world

Download our annual report and accounts

Last edited: 7 February 2022 8:43 am