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NHS App to become health service’s ‘front door’ post-Covid, Government says


By Emma Wilkinson
1 March 2022

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The Government wants to see 75% of adults in England using the NHS App by March 2024 as the ‘front door’ to the health service.

It will have expanded functions to offer patients information on waiting times as well as personalised advice, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said.

Setting out his priorities on technology at the HSJ Digital Transformation Summit on Thursday, Mr Javid also said electronic patient records would be rolled out to 90% of trusts by December 2023.

He added that a more inclusive digital health service and better use of innovation would help clear the Covid-19 backlog and that more details would be outlined in the publication of a Digital Health Plan later this year. 

Wider use of the NHS App would help people manage their health by having access to their data, including their GP health records, as well as make it easier to order repeat prescriptions and book appointments online.

To get to three-quarters of adults using the NHS App, the Government needs to show it is not just for Covid but that it ‘will be a future front door for interacting with the NHS’, Mr Javid told the conference.

‘The NHS is already working on new features, including how we can show estimated waiting times and the results of blood tests within the app,’ he said.

He added: ‘The NHS App has shown how people are receptive to having healthcare literally in their hands – and we have the opportunity to use platforms like apps and websites to access diagnostics and therapies, helping them to manage their own conditions.’

The health secretary added that the NHS has a precious resource in the form of data that could be a vital tool for researchers. 

‘But we know that there is more to do to build trust in the use of data and reassure the public that the data will be used securely,’ he said.

It follows the launch of My Planned Care – a platform to provide information for people on NHS waiting lists that will be available through the app in time. 

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.

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