Hospital text appointments update
Over the past couple of months we have been working to understand and influence improvements with the South Tyneside and Sunderland Hospital Trust's appointment via text, which many of you are now receiving. Some of you told us that you have found them to be confusing and worrying.
This sparked off a piece of work here in the Healthwatch office and several meetings and communications with the Sunderland Royal Hospital Appointment Team, so this is what has happened as a result:
- Firstly the Trust have developed this press release, which has been published on their website and will appear in the local press. This explains the system and what to do if you don't want to receive your appointments in this way.
- They have also agreed to make changes to the text message which they send out, which will inform people over 75 years old that if they can’t or don’t follow the link on the text, they will receive a letter through the post with their appointment details on.
When we asked if the text could display which department the appointment is for, we were told that unfortunately they can’t do this due to Data Protection rules.
We visited the ladies who sparked this piece of work when they told us their experience of receiving their hospital appointments via text. One of the ladies said; "I am so pleased that some good came out of what we told you. It was a real worry and we're happy to have helped other people."