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Book a sickie on your digital TV

Why sit in a telephone queue, when you can book a doctor's appointment by Sky digibox instead?

Making a doctor's appointment is about to get a whole lot easier - thanks to the successful trial of an NHS scheme which enabled patients to book using a digital TV.

Up to 1,100 GP surgeries across the country will now be able to offer the service, after the six-month long South Yorkshire trial cut the number of missed appointments. You access the service by pressing the Interactive button on your Sky , Freeview or cable remote. You can even book at appointment on your mobile using WAP.

Commenting on the roll-out, Dr Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners , told the BBC :

"Digital TV, the internet and mobile phones are all part of modern society and it is essential that we offer patients a range of choices to allow them to book an appointment with their GP in a way that is most convenient for them."

There's no news on whether a Series Link facility will be offered to hypochondriacs.