Surge in the number of people using NHS tech

Research shows that 38 per cent of people have increased their use of NHS technology since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

The survey, carried out by nfpSynergy, asked 1,000 people if they were using more NHS technology, such as apps and websites, as a result of the outbreak, and 26 per cent agreed that their NHS tech usage had increased, while a further 12 per cent strongly agreed.

In the month of March 2020, visit numbers to the NHS website increased to 61,311,711 (the highest ever) – with the COVID-19 content page being visited 28,252,103 times. In the same month, there were 119,512 registrations to use the NHS App, which is an increase of 111 per cent from February when there were 56,655.

Additionally, the NHS Pathways system was responsible for triaging 1,624,258 calls to 111 and 999 in March, which is a 12.2 per cent increase from March last year when it triaged 1,447,269 calls. During March 2020, NHS 111 online had 16,995,602 users, which is a daily average of 548,245. On its busiest day last month, it had 950,000 users.

Ben Davison, NHS Digital’s executive director for Product Development, said: “These are unprecedented times and with social distancing now the norm for everyone, we’re really starting to see digital technologies come to the fore – not just in the NHS but in all walks of life.

“Good technology is making it possible for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to continue to deliver care remotely where possible and freeing up time for those patients who need face-to-face care. It’s keeping people well whilst they are isolated with good information and advice and the ability to manage things like prescriptions remotely. We’re fully prepared for the numbers using NHS tech to continue increasing over the coming days and weeks, as the general public continue to play a key role in helping to ease the burden on our fantastic frontline services.”

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