Transformation Partners in Health and Care > News, blogs & videos > Blog > London GPs can now refer leading mental health apps for free

London GPs can now refer leading mental health apps for free

4th September 2019

London is to become the first city to enable a majority of its general practitioners (GPs) to refer patients to a series of clinically-proven, commissioned digital therapeutic apps, to support people experiencing the four most common mental health concerns; low mood, stress, sleep and anxiety.

The move sees Good Thinking, London’s digital well-being service, in collaboration with digital health leaders IQVIA and EMIS Health, enabling approximately 75 per cent of London GPs to digitally refer health apps to their patients.

This initiative launches on 5 September. Clinicians will be able to offer free-to-use apps through Good Thinking; the London NHS approved digital mental wellbeing service, using the EMIS App Library to send patients a unique download link via SMS text or email. Good Thinking provides more than 120 safe, proactive and early intervention tools to Londoners who are experiencing mental health and wellbeing concerns. Some 245,000 people in the capital currently use the service and about 15,000 people use Good Thinking each month.

This new initiative provides patients looking for personalised ways to improve their mental wellbeing with safe ways to obtain advice and take immediate steps by accessing Good Thinking resources including Be Mindful, Sleepio, My Cognition and My Possible Self

Anyone who lives and works in London can visit the Good Thinking website anytime of the day or night; use the simple 3-question wellbeing check-ups, or self-assessment to find the latest on and offline products to support and boost good mental health. Now, most Londoners can also seek advice and referral via their own GP.

Dr Vin Diwakar, Regional Medical Director for London NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “Mental health problems are common and more people are looking for new ways to help to improve their wellbeing than ever before. One in four adults will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. Most people who experience mental health problems recover fully, or are able to live with and manage them, especially if they get help early on. Digital technology presents us with new opportunities to deliver NHS services differently, enabling more people to access the treatment and support they need.

“This is a great example of what we need to see in a modern NHS world that places the patient needs at the heart of everything we do, ensuring we design the service around what people need and when they need it the most.”

Brian Clancy, Co-Lead and Associate Director of AppScript® by IQVIA™, said: “This is a significant milestone for digital therapeutics in general, which has until this point struggled to align prescribing workflows with complex reimbursement pathways at meaningful scale. We look forward to bringing together similar digital therapeutics prescribing and reimbursement ecosystems in additional regions around the world with an initial focus on the UK.”

Tim Sheppard, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Northern Europe, IQVIA, said: “IQVIA is proud to enable the EMIS App Library through AppScript® and work together with a leading ecosystem of collaborators. This innovative approach enables London GPs to refer people with common mental health concerns to 24 hours a day access to clinically proven, reimbursed digital health apps for supporting mental health. This move will place London and the wider UK at the forefront of digitally-enabled mental health care.”

For more information about Good Thinking, visit

Notes to Editors

About Healthy London Partnership

Healthy London Partnership formed in 2015. It aims to make London the healthiest global city by working with its partners to improve Londoners’ health and wellbeing so everyone can live healthier lives. Its partners include the NHS in London (Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health Education England, NHS England, NHS Digital, NHS Improvement, trusts and providers), the Greater London Authority, the Mayor of London, Public Health England, London Councils.

About Good Thinking

Good Thinking launched in November 2017 through a partnership of London borough councils led by Directors of Public Health, London’s NHS and Public Health England, supported by the Mayor of London and delivered by Healthy London Partnership. It provides safe, proactive and early intervention tools to Londoners who are experiencing the four most common wellbeing concerns: sleep, depression, stress, and anxiety. It aims to reduce stigma associated with common mental health problems by presenting its information in a non-medical style.

About Be Mindful

Be Mindful is an online course for helping people to reduce stress, depression and anxiety by learning to practise mindfulness in daily life. It is a clinically approved and easy to follow course that guides people through the elements of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and includes tools to measure reductions in stress, depression and anxiety.

About My Cognition

This is an NHS-accredited cognitive fitness programme that when used 15 minutes per day optimises cognitive health to improve people’s focus, memory, strategizing and making accurate decisions faster. By strengthening cognitive fitness mental resilience is improved alongside the ability to manage stress and be more successful in managing and enjoying life.

About Sleepio 

Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme, clinically proven to help people fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night giving people more energy during the day. The programme is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It teaches cognitive techniques to help tackle the racing mind and behavioural strategies to help reset sleeping patterns naturally, without relying on sleeping pills.

About My Possible Self

My Possible Self is a mental health app that uses clinically proven content to reduce symptoms of low mood, anxiety and stress in 8 weeks. It provides simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress and tackle unhelpful thinking. It enables people to record their experiences and track symptoms to better understand their own mental health.


IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services to the life sciences industry. Formed through the merger of IMS Health and Quintiles, IQVIA applies human data science — leveraging the analytic rigor and clarity of data science to the ever-expanding scope of human science — to enable companies to reimagine and develop new approaches to clinical development and commercialization, speed innovation and accelerate improvements in healthcare outcomes. Powered by the IQVIA CORE™, IQVIA delivers unique and actionable insights at the intersection of large-scale analytics, transformative technology and extensive domain expertise, as well as execution capabilities. With approximately 61,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries.

About EMIS Group

EMIS Group is the UK leader in connected healthcare software and services. Its solutions are widely used across every major UK healthcare setting from primary, community & acute care, to high street pharmacies and specialist care services. EMIS Group helps healthcare professionals in over 10,000 organisations share vital information, facilitating better, more efficient healthcare and supporting longer and healthier lives.

EMIS Group serves the following healthcare markets under the EMIS Health brand:

  • Primary, Community & Acute Care, as the UK leader in clinical management systems for healthcare providers and commissioners. EMIS Health products, including the flagship EMIS Web, hold over 40 million patient records and are used by more than 100,000 professionals in nearly 6,000 healthcare organisations.
  • Community Pharmacy, with the UK’s single most used integrated community pharmacy and retail system.
  • Specialist Care, as England’s leading provider of diabetic eye screening software and other ophthalmology-related solutions.

Privacy Statement

EMIS App Library by AppScript® was built with rigorous privacy and security features to safeguard sensitive information. Its apps have either been listed on the NHS Apps Library, have gone through NHS Digital’s Digital Assessment Questionnaire, or have otherwise been authorised for listing on EMIS App Library by relevant NHS authorities.


GDPR, a piece of EU legislation, was enacted in the UK under the Data Protection Act in May 2018. GDPR is an essential part of the NHS App Library and Good Thinking process as well as EMIS web.

« Back to blogs & videos listing