Patients can now book a GP appointment through their digital TV with a new programme aimed at reaching across the digital divide.
DigiTV implemented the programme, alongside primary care systems provider EMIS, giving patients the ability to access their GP's appointment book via their remote control or mobile phone.
Patients will have access to the same system that the doctor's receptionist uses when checking appointment availability.
Surgeries in South Yorkshire, Stoke, Reading and Wrexham have been using the DiTV booking system for some time and it is now nationally available at 1,100 surgeries via the Looking Local portal on DiTV.
The service trials showed fewer patients were failing to turn up for appointments, which resulted in a smoother flow of patients in the surgeries taking part.
To use the system, patients need a password, which they can get from the receptionist. They can then book, amend or cancel an appointment. Future plans for the service include repeat prescriptions and patient health information, aiming to further reduce the pressures on the local GP practice.