GP practices in Cumbria saw a sharp spike in activity during March, with tens of thousands more appointments recorded than in the previous month.

Doctors' groups have warned that GPs could buckle under the pressure of "unsustainable" workloads as they juggle rising numbers of appointments with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

NHS Digital data shows doctors carried out 198,879 appointments with patients at surgeries in the NHS Cumbria CCG area in March – 36,674 more than in February.

That was also 39,087 more than during the same month last year, at the start of the pandemic.

Demand soared at GP practices across England, with every CCG area in the country recording a significant uptick in activity.

In Cumbria, 60 per cent of appointments were carried out face to face in March.

That was slightly down from 62 per cent a year earlier, although NHS Digital said changes in how practices operate during the pandemic may have affected how appointments are recorded.