Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will set out a 'multi million-pound package' to expand rapidly the use of digital technology in the health service at the NHS Expo event in Manchester today.
The plans include 'expansion of the existing NHS 111 non-emergency phone line service to include a new online triage service for less serious health problems'. Patients will be able to enter symptoms online and receive advice or a call back from a health professional.
NHS England will launch a library NHS-approved health apps to guide patient choice, and relaunch the NHS Choices website as nhs.uk - which will offer 'a fuller range of online patient services, including the ability to register with a GP, see and book appointments, and order and track prescriptions'.
Patients will also be offered 'instant access to personal health records online'.
Online GP services
The health secretary said: 'We want to fast track existing digital excellence, as well as nurture new skills and expertise that we will need to deliver a new breed of digitised services.
This means on the one hand giving pioneering NHS organisations the financial backing to unleash their full potential, while also making sure that we can build a digitally-confident workforce across the whole NHS.'
Matthew Swindells, NHS England national director for operations and information, said: 'Smart technology is set to transform the way patients can access NHS services and manage their own health.
'We are already seeing the benefits to patients and NHS staff as we harness this potential, and we are investing hundreds of millions to bring NHS technology into the 21st century. Digital innovations will make our services more efficient, save money and help the NHS to deliver its ambitious programme of change.'