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£3 Million Lost Through Missed Appointments at Dorset County Hospital

Dorset County Hospital 1

7:43am 2nd April 2014

More than 19,000 patients are failing to turn up to appointments at Dorset County Hospital each year, costing £3M in loss of income and wasted resources.

But Dorset County say a text reminder service is now helping to reduce the number of missed appointments.

Hospital staff are urging patients to make sure they've given them up to date contact numbers.

Patient access lead Anita Thomas said: "Patient feedback has been very positive and we have certainly seen a reduction in the number of missed appointments since rolling out the service. Many patients call us after receiving the text to say they had forgotten about it and would like to change it, which means that we can offer their appointment to another patient.
"For the moment some clinics are not part of the service due to the sensitive nature of the appointment but we are looking at different ways of delivering the message so that they can be included in future.  All new appointment letters contain information on opting out of the system if people would rather not receive texts and there are posters in all outpatient areas and local GP surgeries explaining the service and the opt out process.
"It would be really helpful if patients could ensure they give us their up to date contact details, including their mobile number, so we can keep in touch. You can give us your details when you attend for an appointment, or call the number on your appointment letter beforehand during normal office hours - 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday."

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