A new feature of the NHS App will allow patients to view their prescription information digitally and collect their medicines from any pharmacy using a barcode from today.

The government said the move would help ‘ease pressures’ on pharmacists and GPs.

NHS England (NHSE) is carrying out a full rollout of the added prescription functionality following a successful trial last year which involved over a million users.

The feature allows patients to see when their prescriptions have been issued as well as view their prescribed medication.

Users without a nominated pharmacy will be able to use a barcode in the app to collect their prescription from any pharmacy, rather than having to use a paper version.

Patients with a nominated pharmacy can continue to collect medication without paper prescription or barcode, with details sent to the pharmacy electronically.

Patients can already use the NHS App to request repeat prescriptions digitally. According to NHSE, the number of repeat prescriptions ordered through the app has grown by 45% over the past year, with an average of 3.1 million now requested every month.

Victoria Atkins, health and social care secretary, said the app’s new prescription feature ‘will not only benefit anyone getting a prescription, it will also ease pressures on our hardworking pharmacists and GPs’.

According to Community Pharmacy England (CPE), the feature will be increasingly rolled out into more areas until deployment is completed.

CPE added that, as the app will not issue push notifications about prescriptions, ‘the expectation is that most patients will not immediately notice the new functionality’.

Dan Ah-Thion, community pharmacy IT policy manager at CPE, said: ‘This feature assists pharmacy teams with managing non-nominated prescriptions.

‘Whilst no single measure will completely eliminate the use of paper within EPS processing, we welcome this reduced paper usage by patients.’

He added: ‘The new feature also provides patients with more information about their prescription items, which can help to decrease the number of queries that pharmacy teams need to handle.

‘We know pharmacy teams will continue to encourage patients to enjoy the benefits of EPS nomination.’

However, Vin Diwakar, national director for transformation at NHSE, said: ‘Giving all patients in England direct access to prescription information through the app means they’ll know when their prescription is issued and avoid delays in collection.’

NHSE is also running a campaign to encourage more people to use the app.