The number of people using NHS tech in 2020 surges due to coronavirus pandemic

Because of social distancing and the need to be able to access healthcare remotely, the NHS has seen a massive increase in the use of their digital services.

Tech services provided by NHS Digital have experienced a huge surge in usage by frontline staff and patients alike since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a list of the biggest increases in NHS technologies:

NHS website:

With 360m visits per year, the NHS website is one of the world’s largest health-related websites. It is one of the main platforms in the coronavirus response and has seen an astounding 803m visits this year.

NHS App:

The NHS app is a secure and simple way for smart device users to access NHS services like cancelling GP appointments or ordering repeat prescriptions. Last year on the 11th of December, there were 192,676 people using the app and that number has increased by 912% in a year with 1,951,640 users in December 2020.

NHS Pathways:

NHS pathways directs nearly 19m 999 and 111 triages to the relevant services annually. Comparing November last year to November 2020, NHS pathways has triaged 2.5% more calls. Their busiest month was in August 2020 where they triaged 1,660,085 calls to 999 and 111-a 17.7% increase from August 2019.

NHS 111 online:

Patients who need urgent online healthcare use NHS 111 online which decreases the demand on the 111-telephone service. In six months (June to November 2020), 3,569,917 sessions were recorded by 111 online, a staggering 217% increase on the same time frame in 2019.

860,213 of all the sessions were coronavirus related.

NHS login:

NHS login is a simple and re-usable way for people to access various care and digital health services like the NHS App. NHS login accounts increased by 660% over the last year.

Electronic Prescription Service (EPS):

Prescribers can now send electronic prescriptions to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice (nominations) making the whole process of prescribing and dispensing more convenient and efficient for staff and patients. The number of EPS nominations has increased from 33.07m to 41.34 million since December 2019.

Ben Davison NHS Digital’s Executive Director for Product Development said: “There’s no doubting that 2020 has been a challenging year for the NHS. Our teams have had to work harder and faster than ever to cope with the huge public demand for the many digital technologies across the NHS.

“It’s this technology that has enabled doctors, nurses and other health professionals to deliver care remotely where possible – freeing up time for those patients who need face-to-face care.

“It’s this technology that is keeping people well while they isolate with good information and advice, and the ability to manage things like prescriptions remotely.

“We’re fully expecting the numbers using NHS tech to continue rising in 2021, as the general public continues to play a key role in helping to ease the burden on our fantastic frontline services.”

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