COVID-19: Patient Access surpasses 10 million UK users

06 May 2020

Ten million NHS patients are now managing their health online via the free Patient Access app after registrations soared during the coronavirus pandemic.

Registrations to Patient Access, which offers clinically-authored health information and GP services including video appointments, escalated rapidly in March and April – with 650,000 new sign-ups during the pandemic peak.

Backed by UK health tech leader EMIS Group, Patient Access is the leading health app in the UK. It is providing information and support to patients during the pandemic – as well as reducing pressure on GPs by enabling patients to manage their own appointments and repeat medication.

A new coronavirus symptom checker – added in mid-March – has seen more than 700,000 views from 300,000 users as people seek trusted information in the pandemic. 2.6m people have accessed a separate coronavirus hub, generating 3.4m views.

Patient Access is free to use and, unlike other apps, allows patients to benefit from the convenience of digital services while staying with their existing NHS GP practice.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical director at Patient, said: “It’s clear from these statistics that the pandemic has rapidly changed attitudes to digital healthcare – quite possibly for good.

“Without the usual access to their GP, people have realised that digital alternatives are quick and easy to use – and can give them immediate help and reassurance in these very worrying times.

“GPs and the wider health service are also seeing the benefit, as non-urgent demand reduces and clinicians’ time is freed up to focus on those who most need their help."

“Importantly, our information can also help encourage people who do have a symptom of concern to seek medical help in a timely manner.”

Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical director at Patient

She added: “All information provided on Patient Access and our sister website is approved and written by GPs, in line with NHS and Public Health England guidance and updated daily.

“As coronavirus spreads, so do all kinds of myths and rumours about COVID-19. We would urge anyone who thinks they may have coronavirus, or wants to learn more about how they can protect themselves and their family, to access the free information hub.”

Patient Access users are also being invited to complete a new online COVID-19 symptom surveillance questionnaire to help scientists track COVID-19 across the UK.

Dr Jarvis explained: “At Patient, we’re proud to be working with the Royal College of General Practitioner’s Research & Surveillance Centre and the University of Oxford on a COVID-19 Symptom Surveillance tool. By completing this questionnaire, people who have had symptoms can help scientist track and contain the virus.”

To visit the coronavirus information hub, which is updated daily in line with NHS and Public Health England guidance, visit:

To find out more, or to sign up for Patient Access, visit


Dr Sarah Jarvis