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Waiting list review - text message

As part of a national review commissioned by NHS England, we are undertaking a review of patients who are currently on our waiting lists for an appointment or procedure.

The need to care for Covid patients during the pandemic, led to the national postponement of non-emergency care.  This means waiting lists have grown, and it will take some time before services fully recover.  We are sorry that patient care has been delayed and we would like to thank patients for their continued patience and support.

Our clinical teams have reviewed our waiting lists to ensure that patients with the greatest need are treated first.  We now need to confirm the information that we hold, by contacting patients to understand if there are any change in their circumstances and if they wish to remain on our waiting list for their appointment or procedure.

By reviewing our waiting list and gathering this information we can ensure that we understand the requirements for our services, while we prioritise care for our most clinically urgent patients.

Patient care is important to us, and we will continue to keep in touch with patients at regular intervals by text message, so that our patients know they are still on our waiting lists and have not been forgotten.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you asking me if I want to stay on the list?

We are aware that many of our patients have been waiting a long time for their appointment or procedure, and we are sorry if you have encountered delays in accessing our services. 

Thank you for your patience, we understand that the delay to your medical care may be causing concern.  We also know that when people wait a long time to be seen, some problems may resolve, or alternative treatments may have been found.

To ensure our records are up to date we are contacting all our long waiters via text messaging, asking if they need to remain on our waiting list for their outpatient appointment or procedure.

How does it work?

If we hold a mobile number for you, we will keep in regular touch with you by text message.

This is so that you know you are still on our waiting lists and have not been forgotten.  It is also an opportunity for you to tell us if you no longer need your outpatient appointment or procedure.

We will send you a message when patients have waited 12, 26 and 52 weeks, and then every 12 weeks thereafter. 

How do I know the message I have received is from the NHS?

Our messages begin with 'NHSAppt' and will name the specialty that you are waiting for.  Below is an example of the text we are sending, so you know the text message is genuine:

Text 1

Text 3

The NHS would never require payment or ask you to provide personal details by responding to a text.

If you receive a message you are concerned about, do not reply, or click on any links.

What do I need to do when I receive the text message?

If you wish to remain on the waiting list, you don’t need to do anything.  You do not need to respond.

Reply NO to the text message if you no longer need to be seen.  You will then be discharged back to your GP.

What happens if I do not reply to the text message?

Nothing.  You will remain on the waiting list for an appointment or procedure, and we will continue to keep in regular contact with you.

Why have I received more than one text asking the same question?

If you are on more than one waiting list, you may receive a text message from us more than once.  It is important that you check which waiting list the communication is referring to and respond to each one separately.

Can I opt out?

Yes.  Contact the relevant appointment team or call our Contact Centre on 01904 726400 and request to be opted out of the service.

If you opt out of receiving SMS text messages, your telephone number will be excluded from this process and you will no longer receive text appointment reminders as well as texts to ask if you still require your appointments.

Please note that it is the phone number that is excluded if you opt out, so if you are the contact for your children, family or friends at the hospital; you will not receive any SMS texts regarding their appointments either.

I have previously opted out of the service, but now which to opt back in - can I do that?

Yes.  Contact the relevant appointment team or call our Contact Centre on 01904 726400 and request to be opted back into the service.

Will the text messages be safe and private?

Yes.  Our duty to protect information and confidentiality is taken very seriously, and the contact information we store will only be used by us in relation to hospital business.  We will not pass on your information to any other party other than the third-party company used to deliver our text message service, who are also obliged to keep your information secure and used only for that purpose.

For further information about how your personal data is used please see our privacy notices.

How much will a text cost me?

It's free to receive the text message, however if you choose to respond you will be charged at your standard rates.

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