Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 20-10-2017

More than 7,000 now signed up for text message reminders

by LC

More than 7,000 people have now signed up to the text message reminder service for outpatient appointments at Noble’s Hospital and Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital.

The latest figure of 7,060 marks a significant rise since the end of July when 5,788 were recorded as having signed up.

Patients continue to receive appointment letters by post, but the Department of Health and Social Care stopped sending out reminder letters in March this year as a cost-saving measure following the successful implementation of the text message reminder service in October 2016.

The shift in policy was made in light of substantial evidence from the UK and further afield that text reminders are successful in reducing the number of people who fail to attend hospital clinics.

Patients using the service are sent a text three days before an appointment, confirming the time and date, which means they have the opportunity to attend or rearrange. To take advantage of this service, patients must opt in.

Patients can opt in to the free text messaging service in the following ways:

• Call the dedicated number 651651 or email NoblesSMSRegistration@gov.im providing their name, date of birth and mobile phone number, and confirming that they wish to sign up to text alerts
• Sign up at the main reception areas in Noble’s Hospital and Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital
• Sign up during their next clinic appointment at either hospital

Dr Jugnu Mahajan, Medical Director for the Isle of Man, said: ‘The text message reminders are helping us save money, firstly by not having to send letters out, and secondly by reducing the number of missed appointments and allowing staff to make the best use of resources.

‘The sign-up process is very straightforward and doesn’t take long at all – so please take minute or two to provide your details in order to stay fully informed.’

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