The NHS app is now available to all patients in England, NHS England has announced.
The announcement, made today, comes after a ‘successful’ pilot with 30 practices across England.
NHS England said it will be listening to GPs feedback on the app as more practices join the service – which allows patients to book and manage GP appointments, view their medical record and order repeat prescription.
The announcement said: ‘After successful private testing with more than 3,000 patients across 30 GP practices in England, the NHS app has started its public rollout.’
However, although all patients can now download the app, most practices have not yet joined the system.
NHS England said it expects most practices to go live between April and June this year, with full roll-out completed by July.
‘Until the GP practice is online patients will be able to use the NHS App to check their symptoms using NHS 111 online and the health A-Z on the NHS website,’ it said.
When a practice is connected to the app, patients will be able to use it to:
- book and manage appointments at their GP practice
- order their repeat prescriptions
- securely view their GP medical record
- check their symptoms using NHS 111 online and the health A-Z on the NHS website
- register as an organ donor
- choose whether the NHS uses their data for research and planning
NHS Digital executive director of product development Wendy Clark said: ‘We will be listening to user and GP feedback as we add additional tools and services and more GPs come on board.’
The NHS has introduced some changes to the app after testing was conducted between September and December last year. This includes improving the online registration process, how GP appointment information is presented, and changing the information patients see before they access their GP medical record.
RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: ‘It is essential that the app is thoroughly and independently evaluated to ensure it is beneficial to both patients and GP practices without unnecessarily increasing our workload.’
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘We will continue to add new features in the future to make the app the one stop shop for all NHS services, as part of our long-term plan to build the most advanced health and care system in the world.’
Last year, a freedom of information request revealed an update to the app in 2019 could enable GPs to hold video consultations with their patients – a service that the NHS long-tem plan last week promised.