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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Outpatients portal

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

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, and is provided in partnership with a company called DrDoctor.

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.

From August 2023 certain specialties will increase their functionality allowing patients to be able to request to change or cancel appointments through the DrDoctor portal or via SMS.

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.

UHD and the NHS App

The NHS App is fast becoming the digital 'front door' to the NHS, with over 32 million people signed up.

UHD has joined a number of othe NHS trusts across England whose patients can now use the NHS App to view GP and hospital appointments in one place, see a single point of contact for each appointment, and request a change or cancellation in specialities where this is available. 

If you already use the DrDoctor portal to manage your UHD appointments, you can continue to use this, or use the 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.

Any patients who would like to opt out of using the patient portal can do so by texting STOP to text messages they receive, by logging into the portal and opting out via the settings, or by contacting the outpatient booking team using details on appointment letters. Patients who opt out will continue to receive letters, and be able to reschedule or decline appointments by phone.

Support and queries

If you have any queries about how University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust uses your personal data, please see our Privacy Notice here.

For any queries about DrDoctor, including accessing the portal and how to use it, please see the DrDoctor FAQs here.

Alternatively, you can contact the outpatient booking team using the details on appointment letters.

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