After you've checked how your appointments appear to patients, you can promote the app to your patients to encourage them to use it, so that they and your practice benefit.
In the pilot we found that sending text messages to patients was the most effective method. Around 20% of patients clicked on the web address and visited our website for more information. Some practices were worried that texts would generate a lot of phone calls from patients, but in fact very few patients contacted their practice after they received a text message. We recommend you send texts out during the afternoon as the peak time for new registrations to the NHS App is from 4 pm. You must make sure you have a lawful basis under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to send promotional messages by text or email.
Leaflet and poster for office printing
Download a leaflet and posters to print on your local colour printer.
You need to fold the leaflet after you print it. To make sure it prints correctly, in Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer, ensure that your settings in Print Properties are for 2-sided, and that Short Edge Bind (Open to Top/Left) is selected (not Long Edge Bind).
Images for your website
We've provided a file of images in a variety of sizes so you can choose the most suitable one. Download the zip file and unzip it to see the images.
Templates and scripts
We have based these templates on best practice, and have tested and refined them during the pilot. You should use the text provided within quotation marks in each template, replacing any text that is in square brackets with information about your practice.
You should put the practice website and telephone recorded messages in place before sending out text or email messages to patients. This will ensure that patients who want to confirm if a message is genuine can do so without having to speak to a member of your staff.
Legal basis for sending messages by text or email
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) says you must have a lawful basis to use personal information to send promotional messages by text or email.
It is appropriate to contact patients regarding the NHS App as it relates to providing direct care. However, there must be appropriate ‘fair processing’ to support this. This means you have let patients know why you might contact them, how, and provided them with an opportunity to not participate, or opt out.
In many cases you will already have explicitly informed patients that they may be contacted via text message or email regarding their care and the service at the practice. If so, then you can send text messages and emails to patients informing them of the NHS App using our templates.
If you have not previously informed patients that they may be contacted via text message or email, then you should provide this information and an opportunity for the patient to not participate, or opt out. This could be done by sending a text message or email and providing patients with a reasonable amount of time to opt out.
Your GP practice is ultimately responsible for ensuring that patients’ personal information is used appropriately. Please contact your local information governance lead if you require further advice or support on this.
View general advice about GDPR