HEALTH bosses have appealed to patients across North Yorkshire to help them cope with unprecedented demand by downloading the NHS App.

They say it's a digital front door not only to GP surgeries but also to NHS 111 services. Initially it was seen as a Covid-19 vaccination passport by many but NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group say it can be of far wider use and help patients bypass busy phone lines.

Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York Clinical Chair, said: "I would absolutely encourage everyone with a smartphone or tablet to download the app, it's a digital front-door to GP practice services and NHS 111 and is enabling people to access the right care at the right time."

North Yorkshire Clinical Chair, Dr Charles Parker, said: "Not to be confused with the NHS contact-tracing COVID App, the NHS App now has around five million registered users.

"With practices incredibly busy, patients may find it easier to access GP practice services through the NHS App at a time of day or night that's most convenient."

The App can be used for booking routine appointments, repeat prescriptions, checking symptoms and getting through to NHS 111 throughout the day and night seven days a week.

There was a surge of 1.3 million downloads of the NHS App after Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced it would be used to "view and share proof of your COVID-19 status" for international travel.

It also allows users to check vaccine records. There were four million logins when the so-called vaccine passports went live and 90,000 people ordered repeat prescriptions.

Between 17 and 20 May more than 11,000 people registered an organ donor preference using the App, a ten-fold increase on the number registering in April, and more than 8,000 GP appointments were booked through the App in the same four days.

For more information about the NHS App, visit: