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Around Half of People in England Now Have Access to Digital Healthcare

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Almost 28million people in England have registered with NHS login, and more than 16million have signed up for the NHS App, with the demand for digital healthcare services greater than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

Around half of adults in England have access to digital healthcare, according to the latest statistics from NHS Digital.

NHS login, the service which supports the NHS App, now has almost 28 million users – this is up from around 2.2 million in September 2020.

The online service, which is managed by NHS Digital, provides people with a quick and secure single point of access to a variety of digital health and care websites and apps using just one email address and password.

A total of 45 apps and e-health services are available through NHS login, including e-Referral services, Covid support and advice, maternity and child health services, online pharmacies, and services to monitor and improve health and well-being.

A peak in the number of people setting up an NHS login took place in May, which coincided with the launch of the NHS Covid Pass. On 17th May alone, when the NHS COVID Pass launched, around 245,000 people created an NHS login account.

The highest proportion of NHS login users are based in London – 1 in 5 Londoners logged onto the service in August to access digital healthcare services, and it proved most popular with those aged between 30–39 in London, and 20–29 overall.

Of the almost 28 million people currently using NHS login, 57% are fully verified. People are encouraged to complete identity verification to have complete access to the full range of services available via NHS login, including the NHS App and Covid Pass.

Melissa Ruscoe, Citizen Identity (NHS login) programme head at NHS Digital, said: ‘We are pleased to see such a massive uptake in people managing their healthcare needs digitally throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with around half of people in England now able to access digital healthcare services through NHS login.

‘Through the services integrated with NHS login people can book GP appointments, order lateral flow tests, register their organ donation preferences, and much more. This helps free up valuable time for GP practice staff and provides a simple and efficient way for people to take control of their healthcare and access services easily and securely.’

Emma McLachlan, director of digital experience at NHSX, said: ‘In the past 18 months the NHS has made huge progress in offering access to care online. Through NHS login, we can give the public direct access to choices, information and services, and help them stay healthy. We will always offer non-digital alternatives, but if you can download the NHS app and haven’t yet done so, please do.’

The first app to go live with NHS login – the NHS App – has now reached over 16 million users, currently making it England’s most popular free app. The NHS App was downloaded by more than 12million people following the addition of the NHS Covid Pass on 17th May.

NHS App users are benefiting from easier access to NHS services. During the past four months, almost 3.2million repeat prescriptions were ordered and over 268,000 GP appointments booked via the app, saving valuable time for patients and clinicians.

The increase in app downloads could also have a life-saving impact as 1.5million people have now used the NHS app to manage their organ donation decision, with 265,000 of these registering their organ donation for the first time via the app. Over 150,000 of these new registrations have taken place in just four months since May 2021.

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