The app will be available in September and will allow patients to book appointments and repeat prescriptions

Every NHS patient will be able to book GP appointments and check their symptoms on a smartphone app that ministers promise will make getting treatment as easy as online shopping.

It will become the standard way to access the NHS by the end of the year and will put a stop to the need for desperate early-morning telephone calls for GP appointments, the government has pledged.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said that it would “revolutionise the way we access health services” in the same way that banking and shopping had been transformed by the internet.

Patient groups said that the idea was hugely exciting but may be “too good to be true” given the woeful NHS record on major IT projects.