With Winter around the corner, empowering patients to manage their care and reduce missed appointments will have a big impact in reducing pressures on our hospitals.
Last Winter, our records show 77,195 patients didn’t attend their hospital appointment. This can cause people to wait longer for their own appointments and the NHS estimates that every missed appointment costs £30.
Among the reasons for missed appointments were:
Not being able to get through to the service to reschedule or, clarify information received
Trouble with access issues I.e. appointment at inconvenient time, concerns about costs
Did you know we have a number of tools to help you manage your appointments?
See your upcoming appointments
Patients Know Best is a web platform and app which provides secure access to your health record via an online portal.
For one patient, Kate, it proved to be a handy tool during her pregnancy.
“It is really good because everything is all in one place and you can easily see when your appointment is, which is especially useful when you are pregnant because you have to juggle so many things!” the 33-year-old said.
“Early on in my pregnancy, we had a holiday booked and having access to the app meant I knew it clashed so I needed to reschedule it."
Patients Know Best allows users to see their hospital information in one place and in the future, more features will be added so patients can see more of their health record such as test results, scan reports and care plans.
One patient who has also benefitted from the service is 28-year-old Polly Waits from Bow who found out about the service through the NHS App.
“I lose bits of paper all the time so its good to have all my appointment letters on my phone as it makes it extremely accessible,” she said.
“I would recommend and encourage everyone to just download and start using it – it’s just so accessible.”
Ask questions about your appointments
Another tool for patients who are attending appointments at The Royal London Hospital is a webchat function.
Webchat enables patients to change or cancel their appointments without having to call a number. This method has proven easier and quicker for patients who need to amend their appointments at The Royal London.
Feedback from patients has been positive with one saying:
“This has reduced my stress and anxiety of potentially missing an appointment. Regardless of outcome, I appreciate all that you have done this morning. Thank you very much."