Surge in use of digital services provided by NHS



NHS 111 Online has seen a 257% increase in usage this year

Digital services provided by the NHS have experienced a surge in usage throughout 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHS website, which usually attracts 360 million visits a year, has estimated approximately 803 million visits in 2020.

As of 13 December 2020, the number of people using the NHS app had reached 1.9 million people, up by 912% from 192,676 in the same period of 2019.

NHS Pathways was responsible for triaging 1.5 million calls to 111 and 999 in 2020 as of November, a 2.5% increase in 2019.

Additionally, NHS 111 Online recorded 3.5 million sessions in the six months from June to November 2020, a 257% jump from 999,150 sessions in the same period of 2019.

The NHS also reported significant rises in the use of Electronic Prescription Service and Microsoft Teams.

Ben Davison, NHS Digital’s executive director for product development, said: “There is 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 is 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.

“We are 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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