Prescriptions ordered via the app are expected to save around 1.85 million hours in 2024

NHS England has announced that its new digital prescription service has been added to the NHS App.

The launch of the service follows a successful trial last year that involved over a million users.

In alignment with the NHS campaign to encourage more people to use the app, the digital prescription service will allow millions of patients to see when their prescriptions have been issued and will allow them to view their prescribed medication.

Patients who are waiting for an elective hospital treatment will also be able to see the average waiting time for their procedure at their local trust.

Users without a nominated pharmacy will be given a barcode via the app to collect their prescription from any pharmacy, as opposed to using a paper version.

Anyone with a nominated pharmacy will continue to collect their medication without a paper prescription or barcode as details are sent to their pharmacy electronically.

Since its launch five years ago, the NHS App has gained a total of 33.6 million registered users.

It already allowed patients to request repeat prescriptions digitally and, over the past year, the number of repeat prescriptions ordered through the app has increased by 45% – an average of 3.1 million requests every month.

For every prescription ordered electronically, GP practices save three minutes of time and those ordered via the app are expected to save the equivalent of 1.85 million hours in 2024.

Additionally, patients will also save an average of 18 minutes with each online order, making the process more convenient for patients as well as freeing up frontline staff time.

Determined to make the health care system “faster, simpler and fairer for patients,” Victoria Atkins, health and social care secretary, said that “the NHS app is all about making access to care easier for everyone”.

“The prescription service is the latest in a number of services we’re adding to the NHS app to provide better care for patients,” said Vin Diwakar, national director for transformation, NHS England.