Almost 14 million patients across England are now using online GP services to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view their records.

According latest figures from NHS England, there has been a 42% increase in the number of people who are signed up for online services compared to the same time last year.

This means 24 per cent of patients (13.9 million) in England are now registered, which NHS England hopes will ease pressure on GPs and their staff and save patients time.

NHS Digital figures from February 2018 show an average of one million appointments are being made or cancelled online every month and nearly 2.3 million prescriptions ordered online, as more practices and their patients increasingly use digital technology.

Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer for the NHS, said: “We’re delighted to see an almost doubling in the numbers of people accessing digital services in GP practices since last year.

“We’ve worked hard to support practice staff to be able to offer these services to their patients.

“The work to improve GP engagement, patient awareness and the patient experience is resulting in more sign-ups and better use of these vital services.

“This is just one example of how we are increasing the use of technology in the NHS to empower people to take more control of their health, wellbeing and care.”

Digital Health News recently reported that the new GP contract for 2018/19 has ensured an extra £10 million will be spent on the implementation of the NHS electronic referrals service (e-RS), to ensure it is available at every practice by October 2018.