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Tell your patients about the NHS App

Get posters and leaflets to print, a film to show on your waiting room screen, guidance on using text messages and more.

Tell your patients about the NHS App

After you've been connected and checked how your appointments appear to patients by using a test patient, 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.

We will not promote the NHS App to patients nationally until all practices are connected and have opportunity to prepare. However, your Clinical Commissioning Group may promote the NHS App to patients when most practices are live in your area.

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).

Leaflet and poster for professional printing

Download a leaflet and posters to be sent to printers and printed professionally. 

Don't use these files if you're printing on your office computer.

Promotional film

Show this film on your practice waiting room screen, after you're connected to the NHS App and are ready to promote it to patients. 

Social media image

Use this image with the text for social media posts provided on this page.

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.

Text message template

'[Your GP practice] is inviting you to use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'

(Make sure the message is still under 160 characters if you amend it with the name of your practice.)

Telephone message script

'If you’re a patient at our practice  you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more. Go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp for more information.'

Practice website text

'Try the new NHS App

If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more.

If you already use [insert name of GP online service available at practice] you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.

For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'

(You might also need to review existing website content to make sure it covers the different options patients have to connect with online services.)

Email message template

Subject line:

'You can now use the new NHS App'

Main body text:

'Hello

[Insert name of practice] is inviting you to use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more.

If you already use [insert name of GP online service available at practice] you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.

To use the NHS App you must be a patient at our practice and have an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.

For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp

Thank you

[Insert practice manager name]

Practice Manager'

Prescription message text

'Use the new NHS App - www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'

Tweet

'If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new #nhsapp, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. Use the #nhsapp to check your symptoms, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and more. Go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'

Facebook post

'If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new #nhsapp, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use the #nhsapp to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more. For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'

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

Related pages

  1. external

    Guidance for GP practices

    Check your systems, find out what staff need to know, get posters and other materials to tell your patients about the app, and hear from GP practices that are already connected.

Last edited: 5 August 2019 10:45 am