Newham patients to get text messages for appointments

Patients going to Newham University Hospital will be getting text messages reminding them of their appointments.

They will now get two text reminders, fourteen and seven days before their appointment is due, to try and reduce the number of missed appointments. They will act as a prompt for patients to attend their appointment or and as an opportunity to cancel if they want to.

For patients with several appointments on the same day, the message will remind them of their first appointment. A dedicated telephone contact number is also included in the text to cancel any existing appointment.

Sue Edwards, the Director of Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) at Newham University Hospital, said: “Last, year out of 300,000 appointments, there were 37,000 appointments where patients failed to attend. This is a winning formula for everyone: it’s a prompt to attend, or an opportunity to cancel the appointment so that other patients can be seen sooner.”

Recognising that text reminders won’t will not suit everyone, patients will still receive written confirmation of their hospital appointment.