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Sending messages via NHS app saves over £1m

Sending messages via NHS app saves over £1m

Sending messages to patients via the NHS app rather than over text or letter has saved the NHS £1.1m, according to NHS England.

Around 22.5 million messages were sent through the NHS app in 2023/24 to those who have switched on notifications. Previously these would have been sent via text message, which would have cost around 5p per message, or as a letter.

The total amount the NHS spends on communicating with patients is estimated to be £450m.

Dr Vin Diwakar, national transformation director at NHS England, said the NHS app has potential to reduce this figure further.

He said: ‘When we talk about the benefits of the NHS app, we usually focus on patient convenience, or the admin time saved for frontline staff – but the NHS app is also saving the NHS significant amounts of money on text messages and postal stamps, and these savings will only get larger as more features are added to the app in the future. 

‘By encouraging more people to use the NHS app, with notifications switched on, we can really start to reduce the estimated £450 million per year that is currently spent on communicating with patients.’

Over 34 million patients now use the NHS app, which is around three quarters of England’s adult population, according to NHS England.

The average number of logins per weekday is almost 1.2 million, with monthly logins at 31.5 million as of March 2024.

Earlier this year, NHS England claimed that up to 20% of calls to GP practices ‘could be resolved’ through NHS App features for referrals.

A version of this article was first published by Pulse’s sister title Healthcare Leader