The NHS App is celebrating three years since it was launched and now boasts more than 22million users which was largely driven by the NHS Covid Pass.

Launched on 31 December 2018, the NHS App notched up an impressive 18million registrations alone since the NHS Covid Pass was added to its suite of services in May 2021. The figures mark a new milestone for the NHS Digital app – as the most downloaded free iPhone app in England during 2021.

The digital app enables registered users to securely access a range of digital health services, which can save significant amount of time for patients, clinicians and admin staff. The addition of the Covid Pass has enabled people to access proof of their vaccinations in an accepted format.

Simon Bolton, interim chief executive at NHS Digital, said: “The NHS App was one of the most downloaded apps in 2021, with more than 22 million people using it.

“The NHS App has played a central role in the fight against covid-19 helping to enable international travel and access to major events. It has also changed the way millions of adults in England access healthcare services in the three years since its launch, with people using the NHS App to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, access the NHS Covid Pass service and register organ donation decisions.”

The addition of the Covid Pass to the NHS App – which since mid-December last year has been used as proof of vaccination to enter certain venues and events as an alternative to covid tests results, and for overseas travel – has helped accelerate the use of other services too.

Since launch, the NHS App has seen a total of 1.1million GP appointments booked with over half of those booked within the last six months (641,000). The app was also used to order 10.4million repeat prescriptions since its inception – including 6.2million requests made in the last six months.

Additionally, 316,000 people have used the app to register their organ donation decision – with 171,000 people using it for this reason in the last six months.

Matthew Gould, chief executive at NHSX, added: “We developed the NHS Covid Pass at extraordinary speed, and have kept updating it to meet the changing needs of the country as we deal with the pandemic.

“It is now an important tool in keeping people safe in the face of the Omicron variant.”