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Update on features of the NHS App

New features are now available in the NHS App. Find out how they can help GP practices and patients.

GP practices do not need to do anything to make new features available in the app but being aware of them will help practices decide how to make the most of them.


Use the NHS App on behalf of another person - proxy access

If a GP practice has given a patient proxy access for someone they care for, such as a child or relative, they can now book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and view the GP medical record of that person through the NHS App, if:

  • both individuals are registered at the same practice
  • the practice uses EMIS or TPP IT systems (95% of practices in England)

Patients cannot request proxy access through the NHS App. They will need to ask you for this access if they want to set it up. 

Practices should follow the existing guidelines for proxy access and identity verification provided by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

If you give proxy access to a patient in the clinical system you use, it will automatically become visible in the NHS App.

Patients will be able to see and switch between ‘linked profiles’ within the app. We use this term as our research has shown it is better understood by patients.

Information for patients on linked profiles


Access the NHS App on a computer or laptop

Patients can now access the NHS App services from a web browser on a tablet, desktop or laptop computer at www.nhs.uk/app.

This feature will particularly benefit people who do not own a smartphone or tablet or who prefer to use a computer or laptop. This may be because of a need to use a larger screen, or because they do not with to download an app.


Choose a pharmacy within the NHS App

Patients can now view, set and change their nominated Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) pharmacy using the NHS App.

Nomination removes the need for patients to collect paper prescriptions from their practice and drop them off at a pharmacy. It also allows them to send their prescriptions to the pharmacy closest to their home or to one that can deliver their medicines.

This new feature does not apply to dispensing appliance contractors or patients registered at dispensing practices. To nominate an online-only pharmacy, patients must register with the pharmacy through their website or contact them directly.


Consult a GP or health professional without an appointment

The ability to triage patients using an online consultation system is critical to practices during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Online consultation is now available in the NHS App at all practices that use eConsult (around a quarter of practices in England).

Patients can use this forms-based service to request advice from a GP or other health professional without an appointment.

Practices that already use eConsult do not need to take any action to make it available in the NHS App. The service will automatically be presented to patients in the app when they click on ‘check your symptoms’ as ‘Ask Your GP for Advice’.


Exchange non-urgent secure messages

Patients can now send short messages to your practice through the NHS App, if GP practices have enabled this feature in either TPP or EMIS clinical systems. Practices can also reply to these messages. Around 900 practices currently use this feature.

Secure messaging provides patients with a convenient alternative to visiting their practice or contacting them by phone with non-urgent or admin enquiries. Messages have a 450 character limit.


Guidance

Get more information for health and care staff on features of the NHS App.

Information for patients about the NHS App is available at www.nhs.uk/app.

Last edited: 23 November 2020 4:18 pm