Under Review — this page was due to be reviewed by Saturday, 18 May 2024. The information shown here may be outdated.

The NHS App is patients’ digital front door to healthcare. It can be used to book appointments, check symptoms, see health records, order repeat prescriptions and manage organ donation choices.

The NHS App is available as an app to download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Those who do not have access to a mobile phone can access the NHS App via a web browser on a desktop/laptop: Desktop login to NHS App

The ‘Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care’ sets out a key ambition for 90% of practices to offer four key existing App functions by March 2024 so patients can: 

  1. View their prospective clinical records (including test results).
  2. Order repeat prescriptions.
  3. See messages from their practices as an alternative to text messaging. 
  4. Manage routine appointments.

Resource pack

The NCL Digital Team has developed an NHS App resource pack to support GP surgery staff with utilising the NHS App and enabling the four key features outlined in the ‘Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care’. 

Please see the latest resource pack in the ‘useful resources’ section of this page.

The use of the NHS App and its advanced features has several benefits for practices and patients.

Benefit to practices: 

  • Reduces text messaging and postage costs by sending messages for free via the NHS App. 
  • Reduces administrative requests (such as booking appointments and ordering prescriptions) which frees up time for practice staff to work on higher value tasks. 
  • Reduces the volume of phone calls and visits to the practice. 
  • Releases time to support improvements to other services, including providing a better experience for patients (especially those who still prefer or need to visit in person or use the phone). 
  • Reduces DNAs as patients can cancel appointments more easily. 
  • Allows patients to verify their identity themselves through NHS Login, which saves practice time. 
  • Improves communication between patients and practices, leading to higher levels of satisfaction. 
  • Empowers patients to undertake simple tasks without needing to contact their practice. 
  • Allows sharing of information to support increased patient safety, including fewer mistakes, duplications and complaints. 
  • Meets the ambitions of the ‘Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care’. 

Benefits to patients: 

  • Patients can access NHS services for free through NHS App 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • Access is quick and secure. 
  • The NHS App is ‘a digital front door’ to GP surgery services. It allows patients to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions without the need to be held in a queue by busy practice telephone lines.  
  • The app has access to several other services including symptom checkers, NHS 111 and online consultations.

By creating a dummy patient account for your practice, you will be able to view insights to how your patients can use the NHS App and what they can (and cannot) see. 

To set up a live dummy patient account which also links to the NHS spine via Personal Demographic Service (PDS), contact nhsapp@nhs.net to request one. You can find more details on setting up an NHS App Test patient.

For the NHS App: 

  • Records are updated in real time. 
  • All coded entries are visible.  
  • Once prospective free text record access is turned on for a patient, free text data is visible in all areas of the record (excludes patient alerts, entries made directly into care history or when online visibility is limited for any sensitive content). 
  • Document records from Docman, referral forms, any correspondence letters or attachments added in EMIS are visible from the prospective online record access date (online visibility can be limited for any sensitive content). 
  • Appointment data visible to patients include the session name as well as the slot type. 
  • Data access control can then be determined at an individual patient level as required.

The NHS App toolkit provides promotional materials that can be used to inform patients of the NHS App and enables practice staff to support patients in using the NHS App. 

To get more help and support for the NHS App please visit the NHS App help and support page.

Review date: Saturday, 18 May 2024