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NHS website and app usage doubles as people seek out coronavirus guidance

By Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Visits to the NHS website were the highest ever recorded in March, according to figures from the health service, as people search for guidance on the coronavirus outbreak.

The official NHS app also reported a surge in usage, with registrations to use the app more than doubling.

In March, the NHS said its website received a record 61,311,711 visitors, more than double the normal monthly average of around 30 million.

The figures peaked on March 17, when the website received 3.4 million hits, with more than 2.1 million of these going to the Covid-19 content page.

In total during March, the Covid-19 content page was visited over 28 million times.

The NHS app, which can be used to access health services such as booking and cancelling GP appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions, saw registrations to use the platform climb from more than 56,600 in February to more than 119,000 last month.

Repeat prescription requests via the app went up by 97%, NHS Digital said, and patient record views increased by 62% compared to February.

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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