Messages sent to millions of patients via the NHS App have saved the NHS £1.1 million on the cost of previously sending the information via text message in the last year.

During 2023/24, approximately 22.5 million messages were sent through the NHS App, which would have previously been sent as a text message or letter. The average cost of sending a text message is around 5p, representing a saving of at least £1.1 million.

People who switch on notifications in the NHS App have their messages automatically sent through the app, which avoids the cost of sending a text message, is more secure, and puts all patient NHS messages in one place.

Dr Vin Diwakar, national transformation director at NHS England, said: “When we talk about the benefits of the NHS App, we usually focus on patient convenience, or the admin time saved for frontline staff – but the NHS App is also saving the NHS significant amounts of money on text messages and postal stamps, and these savings will only get larger as more features are added to the app in the future.

“By encouraging more people to use the NHS App, with notifications switched on, we can really start to reduce the estimated £450 million per year that is currently spent on communicating with patients.”

The NHS App now has more than 34 million registered users, which is around three quarters of the adult population in England. More than 2.7 million people have already used a new prescription feature launched in January, allowing patients in England to see when their prescriptions have been issued and view their prescribed medication.

The messaging services available in the NHS App depend on a patient’s GP surgery or healthcare provider, but many users can now:

  • view messages from their NHS healthcare services (through the NHS App messaging service)
  • view responses from their GP practice or follow up on things like test results (sometimes called an online consultation)
  • view messages to their healthcare provider (such as specialist doctors at a hospital)

New features are being added to the NHS App regularly, as the NHS encourages more people to use the app in their everyday lives.

These features enable patients to view their GP health record, order repeat prescriptions, view or manage hospital appointments, nominate their preferred pharmacy, find local NHS services and get health advice via 111 online.

More details on how to register with the NHS App are available at