More than 95 percent of GP practices in England are now set up to offer online access to detailed GP records, up from just three percent at the start of the year, official figures show.

Over 55 million patients will now be able to view test results as they come in, as well as access key data such as diagnoses, immunisations and medication history, helping them take greater control of their care.

The move is the latest step in the plan to offer a raft of online GP services to patients, to help improve access to services and self-management of health, as well reduce the strain on practices.

According to NHS England, 'no show' rates for appointments booked online are 35 percent lower than for those booked via conventional means, highlighting the potential to save GPs significant time and resources.

"Encouraging patients to access their GP record online helps put them in the driving seat of their care," said Matthew Swindells, NHS England National Director for Commissioning Operations and Information.
"Patients with long term conditions such as heart disease will be able to track their lab results including cholesterol levels as soon as they come back to their GP and see how they alter in response to lifestyle changes."

Greater use of technology to boost patient care is a key commitment of the General Practice Forward View, published by NHS England earlier this year, and the NHS is aiming to become fully paperless by 2020.