NCA hospitals in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester introduce new hospital reminder appointments by text

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NCA hospitals in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester introduce new hospital reminder appointments by text
03 February 2020

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) has launched a new patient online appointment management service at its hospitals in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester.

The new digital service will make hospital appointments quicker and easier to manage for patients. The service is already live at Salford Royal. 

Technology provider DrDoctor provides the service, which is part of the NHS Global Digital Exemplar Fast Follower programme.

The service will be launched in stages on 11th February, starting with five specialties:

  • Ophthalmology
  • Trauma & Orthopaedics
  • ENT
  • Clinical Haematology
  • Paediatrics

Once an appointment has been booked, patients in these five specialities will receive text messages via their mobile phone to remind them about their appointment and to give them the option to re-schedule or cancel their appointment if it is no longer required.

Patients will also be able to access an online patient portal by following a link included in each text message.

In the future, patients will have access to other online options to change their appointments and view location information. They will be able to view upcoming appointment details and add their appointments to their personal calendar on their phone or email calendar.

Patients will continue to be able cancel or reschedule their appointment over the phone as required.

In the final phase of the new service, patients will be able to access a patient portal where they can view appointment and clinic letters online removing the paper trail if appropriate and convenient for the patient

Zeph Curwen, Divisional Managing Director, Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, said:

“This is very exciting for our patients. When the new system is fully rolled out, we will have a really advanced digital appointment management system. The service will empower patients to control their personal information and their visits to hospital.

“We will be improving the patient experience by being more flexible and giving more choice. In addition, we will be reducing the number of unattended appointments, cutting waiting times and vastly reducing the number of appointment letters we send out.”

For the new system to work effectively, patients should make sure they have provided their up-to-date mobile number so they can be easily contacted.

Patients who do not wish to use the text messaging or online appointment system will be able to continue to be contacted by letter only and can telephone the call centre to rearrange an appointment.

Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong, Chief Clinical Information Officer, said:

“As an NHS Global Digital Exemplar Fast Follower organisation, we are replicating many of the digital advances already carried out at Salford Royal, such as this one, which will really make a difference to our patients. This is one of a number of projects within the GDE Fast Follower programme, which will support the transformation of digital healthcare across the Northern Care Alliance.”