More Doncaster hospital patients to get text reminders in bid to slash £6 million wasted on missed appointments each year

More patients attending hospital appointments across Doncaster can now benefit from a text reminder so they do not forget to see a healthcare professional.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 6:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 2:01 pm
Missed appointments costs DBTH £6 million each year

Bosses at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, which includes sites in Doncaster, Mexborough and Worksop, have made the move in order to tackle the issue of missed appointments which cost the Trust millions each year.

Recent data shows the Trust is in the top 25 per cent for patients missing their appointment which can cost upwards of £30 depending on the complexity of the issue.

Figures show around 140 appointments are missed on average across Doncaster and Bassetlaw which equates to 50,000 per year and wastes £6 million.

This is equivalent to 200 nurses, 747 hip replacements and 22,383 MRI scans.

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The system, known as DrDoctor, has been running in certain departments since August 1 and has already seen a 50 per cent reduction missed appointments for patients attending with eye disorders.

Patients attending gastroenterology and respiratory services also have the text reminder system

The text reminder service has now been rolled out to general surgery, audiology, vascular surgery, geriatric medicine, diabetic medicine, bariatric surgery, pain management, haematology, cardiology and rheumatology.

Trust bosses recently discussed the issue of missed appointments at a meeting at Doncaster Council’s Civic Office.

Nationally, around one in 10 appointments made are missed every year in England, costing the health service millions of pounds.

The Trust is urging patients to ensure that their contact details are up-to-date by contacting the reception desk of any service they currently use and checking details via electronic kiosks upon arrival at the hospital.

Dr Mike Whiteside, physician and chief clinical information officer at DBTH, said: “In order to get the most from DrDoctor, it is important that we have your most up-to-date contact details. That way the system will be able to send notifications over text and you will be able to respond in turn.

“Projects such as this are incredibly exciting for the Trust. Ensuring we make the most of technology is key to our future success as an organisation and will undoubtedly help us to achieve our vision to be the safest Trust in England, outstanding in all that we do.”

DrDoctor is the result of a three month long consultation which took place in late 2017 asking why local people miss hospital appointments.