Patients at a number of hospitals in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area will use text messages to communicate with patients to tackle waiting lists, says University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. Those contacted by text will be people waiting for appointments from Royal Bournemouth, Poole Hospital and Christchurch Hospital, many of which have been canceled over the past two years due to the Covid pandemic -19.
The move is being made as waiting times increase to verify that patients still want and need to stay on the list. Departments that will use text messaging so far include cardiology, neurology and ophthalmology. The texts will include a unique pin and a link, which will allow patients to answer a series of questions from their hospital department.
The NHS trust said text messages from them will ask about whether patients still need an appointment and their symptoms. The messages :
- only ask patient care questions
- never ask for bank or reference details for money or payment
- never ask for patients’ names or addresses, but patients will be able to update your details if they are not correct
- include a unique PIN code and we will ask you to enter your date of birth only to log in
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Some will still receive letters, which will have a business reply address in Macclesfield. This is where the hospital team collects patient responses.
Eye matron Minnie Klepacz said: “We know how long some patients have been waiting and we know how difficult it can be. We are determined to do everything in our power to help you finish our waiting list as soon as possible.
“Contacting patients digitally will allow us to do this efficiently, so please respond when you receive a message from Dorset University Hospitals.”
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