NHS app reaches six million, thanks to Covid vaccine feature

by Joseph K. Clark

ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE, the NHS app can now boast more than six million users around the UK, having added 2,737,842 new users since a 17 May update that added an individual’s Covid-19 vaccination status data (DHSC).

Not to be confused with the controversial Covid-19 contact-tracing app. The service enables users to engage with multiple aspects of their healthcare, including booking GP appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions, and indicating organ donor preferences. It also provides GP health records, including allergies, prescribed medicines and test results, and general health advice.


“Technology undoubtedly plays a huge role in how we deliver healthcare now and in the future, and it is great to see so many people downloading, using, and benefiting from the NHS app,” said health secretary Matt Hancock.

Covid vaccine

“It is vital we embrace the momentum we have built in using technology and innovation in the health and care sector over the last year as we look beyond the pandemic to improve treatment, care, and the experiences of patients.”

Innovation minister Lord Bethell added: “The NHS app is a fantastic tool that allows people to access their Covid-19 vaccine status and NHS services more easily. It is great to see over six million users now registered on the app, and it is a prime example of how technology can make health service more efficient and easier to access. I encourage those who have not yet done so to download it and see the benefits for themselves.”

The DHSC said more than five million distinct users had logged into the app in the past month alone, with over 50,000 GP appointments booked, 600,000 prescriptions requested, and 50,000 new organ donors registered, with a potentially life-saving impact – registering a preference helps NHS specialists quickly understand and enact people’s wishes should they die, saving and improving thousands of other lives.

By comparison, the DHSC revealed that in April 2021, the app saw 1,521,361 distinct logins, 30,238 GP appointments booked, and 393,009 prescriptions requested.

As noted, a big part of the app’s recent spike in usage has been the addition of Covid-19 vaccine status – also known as a vaccine passport – which was first announced at the end of April ahead of an update in May, despite widespread privacy concerns.

The update made the app one of the first internationally compliant systems globally to demonstrate Covid-19 vaccine status, enabling travelers to verify they have had a jab if needed easily.

“The Covid-19 status service was stood up in weeks by a team working flat-out to deliver an important service for users on time,” said NHSX chief executive Matthew Gould. “It has been good to see it used to open up sporting events, facilitate travel, and encourage the use of NHS services online.”

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