Appointment Reminder Service
Every year, thousands of patients accidently miss their hospital appointment simply because they forget when it is.
We appreciate how busy people are and how easy it can be to forget an appointment; however, patients not attending their appointments have a negative impact on the service the Trust provides.
Each missed appointment costs the hospital money in terms of the time the medical staff waste, but more importantly, it means that the appointment cannot be offered to another patient waiting to be seen.
It has been shown that sending appointment reminders significantly reduces the number of missed appointments; therefore, the Trust will send a text to all* patients reminding them of their outpatient, inpatient or radiology appointments.
* Some clinics are excluded from this service such as sensitive nature clinics.
For Outpatient appointments, an initial reminder is sent out seven days prior to the appointment, and then a final reminder sent again 48 hours before the appointment.
If you need to re-book an appointment please respond ‘REBOOK’ and a booking clerk will action this by rescheduling your appointment which will be confirmed via a new appointment letter. Please note: you will be unable to rebook your appointment by replying to the 48 hour reminder text. You will need to contact the hospital directly to book another appointment
Patients are also able to ‘CANCEL’ your appointment, on receipt of your instruction your care will be transferred back to your GP and you will not receive another appointment
- It is a FREE service, you will not be charged for receiving or replying to appointment reminders
- If you have given your mobile number to any NHS Healthcare provider, we will accept this as implied consent that you agree for the Trust to use this number to contact you regarding your hospital appointments
- Patients do have the option of opting out of the text reminder service by notifying a member of the clinic reception. Please note, by opting out you will not receive reminders for any hospital appointments
- By notifying the Trust of a cancellation / rebooking we can re-use the appointment slot that would otherwise have been wasted, which in turn will reduce patient waiting times
- If you have recently changed any of your contact details, please ensure that you notify your GP and notify us as per the instructions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a text message?
This is a short message sent to your mobile phone detailing the date, time and location of your appointment. It will also provide details of how to cancel or rebook your appointment.
Who will receive messages?
We aim to be able to send an electronic reminder to as many patients as possible. If you have given your mobile number to any NHS Healthcare provider we will accept this as implied consent for the Trust to use this number to contact you regarding your appointments.
I am the parent/carer of a vulnerable child/adult, will I get a message? Can someone else receive reminders for me?
If you are a parent, guardian or carer and we have your contact details on the patient’s electronic file, we will send the message to you. If the child/adult has their own contact details, we will send the message directly to them.
If you would like to update the contact information for the person you care for, please inform the receptionist at your next appointment.
I need to update my contact information. How do I do that?
We kindly ask that you notify the Trust of any changes to your contact details. Please telephone 01244 366663
I have received an appointment reminder for an appointment I wasn’t aware of?
Don’t panic, simply contact the relevant bookings team (see below) and they will be able to check the appointment details with you.
I have received a text reminder and would like to change my appointment to another date. Do I need to do anything?
Yes, respond with ‘REBOOK’ and one of our call handlers will call you back to arrange a mutually convenient date and time.
I have received a text reminder and would like to cancel my appointment. Do I need to do anything?
Yes, we would ask that you reply 'CANCEL' to the initial text reminder received for that specific appointment. Please note, if you reply 'CANCEL' we will not attempt rebook your appointment and you will be referred back to your GP.
Does it matter if I cancel or change my appointment?
We would ask you to try to attend your allocated appointment, but we do realise that this is not always possible. If you cannot avoid changing or cancelling your appointment, please remember that if you cancel two consecutive appointments, or do not attend your appointment without letting us know beforehand, we are likely to discharge you back to your referring clinician (GP, other consultant, dentist) unless there is a pressing clinical reason not to do so.
I have more than one appointment over the next few days/weeks. Will I receive more than one text reminder?
Yes, we will send one electronic reminder per appointment you have (so long as the department is participating in the service).
- Outpatients Appointments - 01244 366663
- Pre-Op Assessment and Admissions - 01244 364450
- Radiology - 01244 366723