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In partnership with the NHS in Somerset

The NHS App is there to help people get more information about their health.


Uptake has been low for the NHS App - such a potentially vital piece of NHS digital infrastructure.

To address the factors that influence uptake of the NHS App, a deep understanding of local factors in specific patient groups was needed - for example, looking at younger cohorts in areas where social mobility was particularly challenging.A well designed and representative data analysis, including groups that were at high risk of digital exclusion was necessary to gain a full and fair picture on which to base strategic decisions.


Following an extensive citizen engagement exercise, which consisted of population wide surveys, user experience sessions and qualitative interviews, a number of challenges to uptake and utilisation of the NHS App were identified.

  • We provided NHS colleagues with insights to support policy and communication decisions around increasing uptake of the NHS App.

  • Our people powered transformation approach to digital adoption helped when co-designing strategies, including through the development of Persona Videos.

  • Our insights informed a range of activation initiatives, including going direct to citizens both online and offline to raise awareness of the NHS App, facilitating partnerships and providing tailored resources to community influencers to help engage with individuals not currently accessing digital channels.

  • During the project there was an increase in NHS App registrations at the point of specific activation initiatives.

“The Citizen Experience team within the NHS Transformation Directorate worked closely with Healthwave and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on increasing uptake, adoption and utilisation of the NHS App.

This innovative project included qualitative user research as to what the barriers were to NHS App usage, especially amongst the 16 – 18 year old group. A social marketing campaign followed, including the production of a video for use in local Somerset Six Form colleges.” James Butcher, Regional Implementation Lead Citizen Experience, NHS Transformation Directorate, NHS England & NHS Improvement