Outpatient Appointment Text Message 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 or mislay an appointment card; 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 slot cannot be offered to another patient.
It has been shown that sending appointment reminders significantly reduces the number of missed appointments; therefore where appropriate the Trust will send a text to patients reminding them of their outpatient appointments.
Appointment Text Reminder Service – Important Information
- 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, either by notifying a member of the clinic reception team or replying ‘STOP’ upon receipt of a text reminder. Please note, by opting out you will not receive reminders for any hospital 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 call handler will ring you to agree with you a convenient date and time
- 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
- By notifying the Trust of a cancellation / rebooking we are able to 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. Please note, the Trust may also use your mobile number to request feedback of your experiences using our services. This is in line with the national Friends & Family Test requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a text message?
- Who will receive messages?
- I don't wish to receive text reminders. How do I opt out of this service?
- I have previously opted out of the text reminder service but now I wish to opt back in. How do I do this?
- Does Kettering General Hospital Trust send the message to me or is from another company on your behalf?
- I am the parent/carer of a vulnerable child/adult – will I get a message? Can someone else receive my reminders for me?
- I need to update my contact details with you. How do I do that?
- I have received a text reminder and want to change my appointment to another date. Do I need to do anything?
- I have received a text reminder and want to cancel my appointment. Do I need to do anything?
- Does it matter if I cancel or change my appointment?
- I have more than one appointment over the next few days / weeks. Will I receive more than one electronic reminder?
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 don't wish to receive text reminders. How do I opt out of this service?
All patients have the right to opt out of the text reminder service. To do so either speak to a member of the clinic reception team or reply 'STOP' to the initial appointment reminder you receive.
I have previously opted out of the text reminder service but now I wish to opt back in. How do I do this?
Speak to a member of the clinic reception team and request to be opted back into the service.
Does Kettering General Hospital Trust send the message to me or is from another company on your behalf?
Kettering General Hospital Trust provides the service.
I am the parent/carer of a vulnerable child/adult – will I get a message? Can someone else receive my 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 details with you. How do I do that?
We kindly ask that you notify the Trust of any changes to your contact details. Please telephone Patient Registration on 01536 492404 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have received a text reminder and want 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 want 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 electronic reminder?
Yes, we will send one electronic reminder per appointment you have (so long as the department is participating in the service).