The NHS App provides a simple and secure way for patients aged 13 or over to access a range of healthcare services on their smartphone or tablet. The app is being rolled out gradually across England, following a successful pilot.
Features of the NHS App
Once registered, people can:
- check their symptoms using the health A-Z on the NHS website
- find out what to do when they need help urgently using NHS 111 online
- book and manage appointments at their GP surgery
- order their repeat prescriptions
- securely view their GP medical record
- register as an organ donor
- choose whether the NHS uses their data for research and planning
The NHS App is the first major platform to use the NHS login, a single, easy to use system for verifying the identity of people who request access to digital health records and services.
Integration with GP IT systems
The app will be fully integrated with the four IT systems used by general practice (EMIS, TPP, Vision and Microtest).
Benefits of the NHS App
The NHS App has been developed by the NHS for people across England. It will:
- improve access to healthcare services, as people will access a range of NHS services through a single, convenient mobile app for the first time
- reduce the administrative burden on general practice by enabling people to register digitally rather than having to attend the practice
- empower people to take control and make more informed decisions about their own health and care by providing access to their GP medical record, NHS 111 online and the health A-Z on the NHS website
- in the future, enable commissioners to signpost patients to digital services that have been commissioned locally
When the NHS App will be available
The NHS App will be available on Google Play and Apple app stores at the end of December 2018. The key features will then be gradually rolled out to GP surgeries and their patients.
Some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have volunteered to go live in early 2019, as we continue to test and improve the process. Most surgeries will go live between April and June 2019.
The app will be fully available across England by 1 July 2019.
Downloading the app before a surgery is connected
People will be able to download the app from the end of 2018. They will not be able to use all the functions until their GP surgery is connected.
Patients can check if their GP surgery is connected when they open the app for the first time. If the surgery isn’t connected, patients can leave an email address and will be notified when it is.
The process for going live at GP surgeries
When a surgery goes live with the key features of the app, its unique identifying code is connected to the NHS App.
We will be asking surgeries to review some of their system settings before they are connected, so that patients have a positive experience when using the app.
Surgeries should make sure that appointments are:
- made available for online booking
- clearly and appropriately named
Existing guidelines to support practices with GP online services are available at www.england.nhs.uk/gp-online-services. We are developing enhanced guidance on the NHS App which will be published in January 2019.
NHS England and NHS Digital are working closely with CCGs, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), professional bodies and other stakeholders to agree and communicate the rollout schedule, and ensure that the right support is in place for surgeries going live with the app.
The app was successfully tested by more than 3,000 patients from 34 GP surgeries across 16 CCGs between September and December 2018.
We'll publish details of the research we conducted during the pilot, which was used to shape the NHS App, in early 2019.
During the pilot, we collected feedback from GP surgery staff and patients about the impact the app is having. We’ve used this to improve the app and the go-live process for surgeries.
We’ll continue to collect feedback during the wider roll-out of the app, so we can improve the patient experience and the support for surgeries.
Information for patients on the wider roll-out of the app.