Changes to Non-Urgent Outpatient Appointments

Changes to Non-Urgent Outpatient Appointments

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that the public are being asked to avoid non-essential contact with other people, we have taken the decision that all non-urgent outpatient appointments will be switched to telephone or another non face-to-face method, e.g. online or they will be postponed.

We will be contacting patients over the coming days to rearrange or postpone appointments. However, please continue to attend appointments unless you are notified by us. If you cannot attend because you are self-isolating or do not want to attend, please inform us.

We apologise for the inconvenience this causes but the safety of our patients must remain a top priority and it is important to ensure we fully comply with the actions taken by government to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

If patients are worried we would ask them to please call the number of your appointment letter.

Appointment Reminder Service

On average, 1 in every 20 appointments is not attended. This has a detrimental effect on the overall capacity of our clinics and is a missed opportunity for another patient. Nationally, missed appointments are a great cost to the NHS each year. The two predominate factors for non-attendance are: patients who no longer wish to attend (but do not realise they need to alert the Trust) and patients who genuinely forget the time/date of their appointment. 

The reminder system will address both these factors by reminding the patient of the time and date, and also giving them the option to cancel or rearrange if no longer required or inconvenient. The automated system will then contact other patients in an attempt to fill the recently vacated slot. By reducing the amount of wasted capacity, we are able to see more patients and reduce overall waiting times. 

What does this means for me?

You will receive an automated phone call between seven and five days prior to your appointment. During this call you are able to confirm, cancel or rearrange your appointment.  

In addition, mobile phone users will receive a text message within 48 hours of their appointment. 

Can I specify a preferred contact number?

As a matter of good practice, we would ask that you update us of any changes in your contact details; this will allow us to contact you in a timely manner. You can do this via your GP at time of referral, or follow-up patients can update their contact details with the clinic receptionist. 

Do I need to register?

No, you will automatically receive reminders unless you have already told us you don’t wish to receive them. 

Will all clinics be included?

No, certain clinics where it might be required to have multiple appointments close together will not receive reminders. 

Can’t I speak to a real person?

If you would prefer to speak to one of our appointments team, you can arrange a call-back time and date during this call, which is convenient to you.  

How much will it cost?

Reminder calls and texts are provided to you free of charge.

How will my personal information be used? 

The provider of this service will not have access to any Trust systems, therefore no previous medical history or reason for your appointment will be shared. All calls are recorded for training and quality services. 

Can I opt out of this process?

Yes, you can opt out of receiving reminder calls at any time. Just let us know when you book your appointment or when you are in the hospital. 

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