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NHS App Messaging Saved NHS More Than £1 million in Last Year

Messages sent to millions of patients via the NHS App have saved the NHS £1.1 million on the cost of previously sending the information via text message.

During 2023/24, 22.5 million messages were sent through the NHS App, which would have previously been sent as a text message or letter.

The average cost of sending a text message is around 5p, which represents a saving of at least £1.1 million.

People who switch on notifications in the NHS App have their messages automatically sent through the app.

This avoids the cost of sending a text message, is more secure, and puts all patient NHS messages in one place.

The messaging services available in the NHS App depends on a patient’s GP surgery or healthcare provider, but many users can now:

• view messages from their NHS healthcare services (through the NHS App Messaging service)
• view responses from their GP practice or follow up on things like test results (sometimes called an online consultation)
• view messages to their healthcare provider (such as specialist doctors at a hospital)

Dr Vin Diwakar, National Transformation Director at NHS England said: “When we talk about the benefits of the NHS App, we usually focus on patient convenience, or the admin time saved for frontline staff – but the NHS App is also saving the NHS significant amounts of money on text messages and postal stamps, and these savings will only get larger as more features are added to the app in the future.

“By encouraging more people to use the NHS App, with notifications switched on, we can really start to reduce the estimated £450 million per year that is currently spent on communicating with patients.”

The NHS App now has more than 34 million registered users, which is around three quarters of the adult population in England.

Since the beginning of this year, the average number of NHS App logins per weekday is nearly 1.2 million.

Monthly logins rose by 69% in the last year from 18.7 million in March 2023 to 31.5 million in March 2024.

Health Minister, Andrew Stephenson said: “More than 34 million of us are now using the NHS App, which allows people in England to access health services like ordering repeat prescriptions and booking appointments quickly and easily online, while saving the NHS millions of pounds and freeing up time.

“As we announced in the Budget, we are investing £3.4 billion in upgrading and enhancing technology in the NHS as part of our plan to make our healthcare system faster, simpler, and fairer, so that doctors and nurses can spend more time with patients and less time on admin.”

 

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