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NHS England 'delighted' with huge digital progress

NHS England (opens in new tab) has claimed that 97 per cent of patients in England are now able to access online healthcare services in comparison with just 3 per cent in April 2014.

This means more than 55 million people can now book GP appointments, order repeat prescription medication and access summary information in their medical record online.

"Many patients want the flexibility of booking services online so we are delighted that GPs have worked so hard to make this possible," claimed NHS England director of digital technology Beverley Bryant (opens in new tab).

"There is more to come as we develop services that will increasingly help patients take more control of their health," she added.

The data revealing the above figures was published earlier this month by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC (opens in new tab)).

Although patients have the ability to use online services should they wish to do so, they also still have the option to contact their GP in person or via the phone.

However, NHS England is encouraging patients to ask their GP surgery to set-up online services next time they visit.

"Online services help to make patients' lives easier and can reduce paperwork for those who work in General Practice," claimed Dr Masood Nazir, GP and clinical lead for NHS England's Patient Online (opens in new tab) programme.

"As GPs offer more online access we will continue to work closely with them to ensure they feel confident these services deliver real benefits for their patients," Dr Nazir added.

Commitment To Digital

The NHS claims to be committed to modernising services so they become more efficient and effective, giving patient greater control over their care.

It is currently aiming to give every citizen access to their own medical record at the click of a button by 2018, with detail of every GP visit, hospital visit, prescription and summary information.

The healthcare provider says access to online services is a key milestone in its journey towards becominga truly modern and dynamic healthcare system.