Millions of people will be able to use the NHS App to view their prescriptions for the first time from today.
Following a successful trial last year involving over a million users, NHS England is adding the new service to the app which will allow patients to see when their prescriptions have been issued and view their prescribed medication.
Patients waiting for an elective hospital treatment will also now be able to see the average waiting time for their procedure at their local trust, and users without a nominated pharmacy will be able to use a barcode in the app to collect their prescription from any pharmacy instead of needing a paper version.
Anyone who has a nominated pharmacy can continue to collect medication without a paper prescription or barcode as details are sent to their pharmacy electronically.
The new features are being added as the NHS runs a campaign to encourage more people to use the app in their everyday lives and help free up time on the frontline.
Patients can already use the NHS App to request repeat prescriptions digitally and the number of repeat prescriptions ordered through the app has grown by 45% over the past year, with an average of 3.1 million now requested every month.
Each repeat prescription ordered electronically saves GP practices three minutes of time, with those ordered using the app expected to save the equivalent of 1.85 million hours in 2024.
Patients also save an average of 18 minutes with each online order, making it more convenient for patients and freeing up frontline staff to do other important duties.
Vin Diwakar, National Director for Transformation at NHS England said: “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.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins 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.”
Joe Harrison, National Director of Digital Channels at NHS England, added: “The NHS App is helping to support our frontline staff, freeing up time to treat more patients and enabling patients to get more involved in their care.
“Millions of people are already using the app to order repeat prescriptions, and they’ll now also be able to view and manage their prescriptions using the new service in the app.”
The NHS App has gained 33.6 million registered users – equivalent to around three quarters of the adult population – since its launch five years ago.
The new campaign is spreading the message that whether sorting a repeat prescription, checking your GP record or accessing a wealth of information and connected services, you simply need to ‘tap the app’.
The campaign coincides with improvements within the app to make it easier for patients to find the services they need, providing a simplified and more intuitive experience.
More details on how to register with the NHS App are available at www.nhs.uk/nhs-app.