The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has launched digital outpatient appointment letters to support patients to access information quickly and easily.
This comes after the successful launch of text and email appointment reminders earlier this year.
Chief Medical Officer Andrew Hollowood said: “We’ve had some great feedback since introducing digital appointment reminders, and we’ve seen a reduction in the amount of people who do not attend their appointment.
“Now we are moving onto the next phase of our work to improve the way we connect with patients. We are providing digital letters so that the people we care for can quickly and easily access their outpatient appointment information and don’t need to wait for the postman.
“It’s a safe and secure way to enable faster communication, whilst also reducing paper use and postage costs. Letters are stored for future reference, so it’s also great for keeping track of your information over time.”
When a new digital letter is available, patients will receive a notification via text and/or email.
Text messages will come from the number 07860 039092
Patients can still receive paper letters either by choosing to opt out of digital, or automatically by not accessing the digital copy after three days.
Andrew Hollowood added: “We know some of the people we care for would still prefer a letter through the post, so that remains an option, and we have safeguards in place in case people don’t open their digital letter.”
Patients will automatically start to receive outpatient appointment letters digitally from this month.
Whilst the majority of outpatient letters will be offered digitally to all patients, there are some exceptions for the time being, including letters where a form needs to be completed and post appointment clinic letters.