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Drop in missed appointments thanks to reminder service
5:10pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
THE Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has seen a 35 per cent reduction in the number of patients missing outpatient appointments, since their new telephone reminder service launched in August.
This equated to 260 appointments in the first week. Following its success the service is now being extended to benefit physiotherapy outpatients. From this week, patients with physiotherapy outpatient appointments at hospitals, surgeries and health centres across Wiltshire will also get the handy reminders. The service is already proving handy for patients with other outpatient appointments at the GWH and at the Trust’s community hospitals in Wiltshire.
Patients receive a text message or automated telephone call around a week before their appointment, reminding them of the location, date and time of their appointment and asking them to confirm, cancel or rearrange. The Trust has sent out 21,596 text messages and made 25,433 automated telephone calls since a pilot was launched in April.
As well as being a convenient reminder for patients, the new service aims to reduce the number of missed appointments. Last year 39,871 patients missed their outpatient appointment, costing the Trust over £4m. Every missed appointment costs the Trust £108 on average.
David Moss, Deputy General Manager for Outpatients, said: “I’m really pleased with the result so far. The reminders seem to be making a real difference. I hope that patients find the service helpful and it makes it easier to cancel or rearrange. If we know a patient won’t be attending, we can offer the appointment to someone else. By making sure all of our appointments are used, we can see more patients and patients will be seen sooner.”
If the GWH already has your phone number you don’t need to do anything, however if you do not think they have your up- to-date number you can register at www.gwh.nhs.uk, call the Booking Centre on 01793 604080 or speak to the receptionist at your next appointment.
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