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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

New way for patients to connect with their care is coming

A new way for patients at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) to be more connected with their care is coming this autumn.

The UHD Outpatients Portal is a secure online information and communication resource for patients under the care of the vast majority of UHD's specialist services.

Patients will be able to:

  • receive appointment reminders by text message via their mobile phone
  • view appointment letters digitally
  • view clinic information about their upcoming appointment
  • add their appointment to their personal calendar on their device, and
  • view all upcoming appointment details and letters in one place.

Patients due to attend an outpatient appointment from this autumn will receive a text message from +44 7860 039092 which will include their appointment reminder and a link to access the portal. To access the portal, patients will simply need to confirm some demographic details or use their existing NHS log in details, if known. For younger patients, the message will be sent to their existing primary contact, usually a parent or carer.

The new service aims to improve patient access to information about their care, reduce the number of appointments missed each year through the use of timely reminders, increase the time outpatient teams have available to spend with patients who need their support the most, and reduce postal and administration costs for the hospitals. It's also better for the environment.

jonathan marks with app

"This is a great step forward to support patients to be better connected to their care," said Dr Jonathan Marks, clinical director for outpatients services at UHD (pictured).

"Many of us choose to do our banking or shopping online securely, and it makes sense to take this approach to our health information too.

"Having all the details you need at your fingertips increases convenience, and should mean things like missed appointments or misplaced letters will be significantly reduced.

"We know from experience that when patients feel more connected with their care, their health outcomes are better."

UHD is working with DrDoctor, a company which has helped many trusts launch similar services and who are also supporting NHS Digital, the team behind the official NHS app.

What do patients need to do?

It's essential that UHD holds up-to-date patient contact details, especially mobile phone numbers – patients can check we have the latest details with the reception team at their next outpatient appointment.

Patients may also wish to add +44 7860 039092 to their phone address book so it's clear when messages from the outpatients team arrive.

Opting out

Patients who do not want to use the text messaging or online system can continue to be contacted by letter only and can telephone the call centre to rearrange your appointment.

While it is hoped most patients will appreciate the convenience, speed and security of the portal, it is simple for those who wish to opt out to do so. Simply click the link sent in your text message, or call the outpatients team. Patients who opt out will continue to receive letters, and be able to reschedule or decline appointments by phone.

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