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Primary Care

How to save yourself time when contacting your GP surgery: Using the NHS App to view your health information

Riccardo Garavani  | 11th August 2021

The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services via an app or through your browser. It’s the easiest way to prove your COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel (but it’s different to the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace App!).

It’s also one way that any patient at a practice in England that uses eConsult can ask their GP for help or advice for themselves or for their child.

The NHS App can save you time when trying to contact your doctor, save you a telephone call or even a visit to your practice. So what exactly can you do in the NHS App?

Access important information without needing to contact your practice

You might sometimes need to find out certain things, such as:

  • Your NHS number
  • What allergies you have
  • What medication you’re taking
  • The results of any tests you’ve had recently
  • Details of previous consultations
  • Your COVID-19 vaccination status (COVID Pass, currently only applies to vaccinations carried out in the UK NHS) for events or international travel

The NHS App is a great resource to find your information in your own time, without needing to call or contact the practice.

Why is that useful? Think about the time and effort that it can take to contact your GP practice normally. Long telephone queues and variable response times could be a thing of the past. 

You don’t need to go to your bank to check your bank balance these days – you just need to check an app or login online. The NHS App gives you this same easy to use service but for your health records.

Request changes or make decisions

There’s a lot of things that you can control or change through the NHS App, without needing to contact your practice, for example:

  • Order repeat prescriptions
  • Select your nominated pharmacy, so that your prescriptions always go to your favourite or local pharmacy
  • View and make amendments to your health records
  • Manage your organ donation decisions
  • Decide if data from your health records are used for research and planning

If you set your nominated pharmacy online via the NHS App, then you don’t need to visit your practice to pick up your prescriptions. You can go straight to your pharmacy instead! That way, when you request a repeat prescription via the App, you save yourself a call and a visit to the practice. 

Get trusted advice from NHS sources or your GP

You can use the NHS App to:

  • Search for trusted NHS information and advice
  • View your GP health record
  • View test results
  • View care plans from your hospital or care provider
  • Record symptoms to your health journal
  • View shared health links added by your medical team or that you have added

You might not need to contact your practice for advice for some conditions – there’s a wealth of self-help information on the NHS website that you can also access through the App. You’ll also be reassured that it’s from a trusted source – which you might not be able to guarantee otherwise on the internet.

For some conditions and symptoms, there’s not much your GP will be able to do, other than suggest over the counter medication or pain relief. It’s always good to check the self-help information before contacting your practice, in case you can relieve your symptoms quickly yourself.

If you can’t manage your symptoms with over the counter medication and you want advice from your GP, you can submit an eConsult for you or for your child via the NHS App. Under the ‘Advice’ section, there’s an option to ‘Ask your GP for advice’ as well as to see all the different options for self-help or contacting NHS 111 online.

You can also start an eConsult from your practice website and login with your NHS Login account to save yourself from having to fill out a few fields. You can see the steps in our video below:

See the full list of what you can do with the NHS App.

Using the NHS App and NHS login

You will need to be above the age of 13 with a UK mobile number and an email address to get set up with NHS login and the NHS App. Find out more about getting started with NHS login.

Once you’ve got an NHS login, you don’t have to use the mobile app to access all these services. You can access NHS App services from the browser on desktop or laptop computers by going to this link:

If you need help getting set up with an NHS login, perhaps a family member or neighbour with a smartphone can help you to get this set up. If you have a smartphone but just aren’t comfortable with using it, you can use your computer to access these services once your login has been created – just go here to login.

Why not get started by downloading the NHS App now!