Royal Oldham Hospital patients can get appointment reminders by text

Patients at the Royal Oldham Hospital will soon be able to receive reminders about their hospital appointments by text message. 

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) - which runs the hospital on Rochdale Road - has launched the new patient online appointment management service. 

The digital service is set to make hospital appointments quicker and easier to manage for patients. 

It will be launched in stages next Tuesday (February 11) - starting with five specialities: Ophthalmology, Trauma & Orthopaedics, ENT, Clinical Haematology, and 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 give them the option to re-schedule or cancel their appointment if it's 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, 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.

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