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Text reminder service – get the message

Last year, more than 25,000 patients missed their hospital appointments – so a text message service is being launched to remind people.

The new initiative by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust starts on 27 March, with a text sent a few days before a patient’s appointment stating the date and time they are due to attend.

Every year more than 330,000 people attend Torbay Hospital and the community hospitals for outpatient appointments.

David Crompton, patient access centre manager, said: “The cost of non-attendance at clinics is up to £170 per appointment. That’s approximately £4million a year on missed appointments, which could have been spent on improving patient care.

“We hope that the Text Reminder Service will reduce the number of patients who fail to attend their appointments, and in turn help to manage clinic slots more efficiently, as early cancellation will enable us to reallocate these valuable appointments to other patients.”

Patients not wanting to receive a text reminder can let the Trust know by sending an email on textno.sdhct@nhs.net or calling 01803 656551 with their full name, address, date of birth and hospital number.