Each missed outpatient appointment costs the NHS £160. Reasons for non-attendance include patients failing to alert the Trust when they no longer wish to attend or are unable to attend. Another reason could be down to an appointment confirmation letter failing to reach patients or advance booking which could sometimes mean patients genuinely forgetting their appointment.
Our appointment reminder system addresses all of these factors by reminding the patient of the date, time and location of their appointment. It also gives them the opportunity to cancel or rearrange their appointment if no longer required or inconvenient. This gives us the opportunity to offer the appointment to another patient, which in turn helps reduce the waiting times.
What does this mean for me?
You will receive an automated reminder call from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust seven days before your appointment. Please be aware that this will show as coming from the following number: 0300 772 9733
This automated call will indicate which hospital your appointment will take place at and will also offer you the opportunity to confirm, rebook or cancel your appointment. If you don't make a selection from one of the options that you hear, the service will try to reach you again over the course of the following days.
If a mobile telephone number has been provided, a text message reminder will be sent three days before your appointment.
Please be aware that if you have a smartphone, the text message may show on your home screen. If you are concerned about people seeing this message, you will need to adjust the options on your phone to stop the message flashing up.
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 speak to the clinic receptionist or admin team at the hospital.
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. Patients for certain specialised clinics and where it might be required to have multiple appointments close together will not receive reminders.
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 monitoring purposes.
Can I opt out of this process?
Yes. You can opt out of receiving reminder calls and text messages. Just let us know when you book your appointment or when you are in the hospital.
Why is the system not recognising when I press a digit?
There are two settings on landline phones, tone and pulse. For the system to recognise you are pressing the digits, your phone needs to be set to pulse.
Why am I not able to listen to the message that is left on my answer machine?
If you have a voicemail on your home phone or mobile device that has a voice message, the reminder system will interact by introducing the hospital reminder and then asking if you are the patient. It will then ask you to confirm by pressing a digit, if you do not interact, the message will not be left.
Will my appointment be cancelled when I select to cancel or rebook?
Following your reminder, if you select to cancel or rebook your appointment unless you speak with a member of the booking team, this appointment will not be cancelled.
Why am I still getting reminders for an appointment I have cancelled or rescheduled?
Unfortunately the system does not run in real time, so if you have cancelled or changed your appointment during the reminder stage, you may still receive a call or text.
Automated call reminders are processed between seven and five days before the appointment. Text reminders are processed three days before the appointment.
Can I just receive the text only service?
Not at the present time. We are updating the current service further and in future you will be able to choose how you wish to be contacted with your appointments. This can be via email, text or letter.
Why has the system called me six times?
The number of the times the automated call reminder attempts to make a call is dependent on how many contact numbers we have for you. If we have two numbers, it will try each of them three times, seven days before your appointment, unless you answer and make a selection. A further two attempts will be made to each number the following day, with a further attempt made to each number five days before your appointment.
Once you have confirmed you are attending, rescheduling or cancelling then you will not receive any further attempts to remind you of your upcoming appointment.