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Physio patients to be given telephone reminders
PATIENTS with physiotherapy appointments at Salisbury District Hospital are to get telephone reminders of their appointments as part of a new scheme that could save the NHS millions in Wiltshire.
The service is already proving useful for patients with other outpatient appointments at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s community hospitals in Wiltshire.
Patients receive a text message or automated telephone call about 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 reminder for patients, the new service aims to reduce the number of missed appointments.
Last year 39,871 patients missed their outpatient appointments, costing the trust more than £4m.
Every missed appointment costs the trust and average of £108.
David Moss, deputy general manager for outpatients, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m really pleased with the result so far.
“The reminders seem to 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.”
Patients are being asked to ensure the hospital has their correct contact details at the time of making an appointment.
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