Man using his phone to get a prescription

NHS App Revolution: Digital Prescriptions Now Live

NHS England has announced that, as of this morning, millions of people will be able to view their prescriptions on the NHS App for the first time.

The service was trialled successfully last year and will now be added to the app, giving patients the ability to see what medication they have been prescribed, and when their prescriptions have been issued. If patients don’t have an already-nominated pharmacy they will also be able to use a barcode within the app to collect prescriptions from any pharmacy, without the need for paper versions.

People who are waiting for elective hospital treatments will also gain the ability to see the average waiting time for that particular procedure at their local trust.

This development has come from the NHS’ drive to get more people using the app within their everyday lives, whilst also helping to free up time on the frontline of services.

Graphic with quote from Victoria Atkins

Victoria Atkins, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“I’m determined to make our health care system faster, simpler, and fairer for patients – and the NHS App is all about making access to care easier for everyone.

“Today’s update will mean ordering and collecting your prescriptions can be done with a few taps of your fingers. This will not only benefit anyone getting a prescription, it will also ease pressures on our hardworking pharmacists and GPs – freeing up valuable time for patients and helping to cut waiting lists.”

Before bringing in this update, patients were able to request repeat prescriptions, with the number of repeat prescriptions ordered through the app increasing 45% over the course of the past year. This is expected to lead to time-savings of approximately 1.85 million hours in 2024. Savings for patients also come at around 18 minutes with every online prescription order.

National Director for Transformation at NHS England, Vin Diwakar, also commented:

“The NHS App is transforming the way people manage their healthcare, freeing up valuable time for healthcare professionals.

“Giving all patients in England direct access to prescription information through the app means they’ll know when their prescription is issued and avoid delays in collection.

“The new feature will also mean people who haven’t set a nominated pharmacy will be able to present the barcode in the app to a pharmacy of their choice without needing a paper version.

“The prescription service is the latest in a number of services we’re adding to the NHS App to provide better care for patients. I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t used the NHS App for a while, or who has never downloaded it, to tap the app and see what it has to offer.”

Since it was launched in 2019, the app has built an audience of around 33.6 million users – the equivalent of around three-quarters of the adult population.


Image credit: iStock

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