THE health board is adding to the ways that we communicate by introducing new SMS text messaging services to improve the patient experience and reduce the chances of you missing a scheduled appointment.

We are constantly working to reduce waiting times for our patients and have this week launched a text messaging service for anyone who has registered their mobile phone with us and who is currently on a waiting list, to ask whether they wish to remain on it or not.

Patients are able to opt-out of text messaging at any time. The health board will also be launching a new Outpatients SMS Reminder service soon to ensure that patients are aware of any pending appointments, and to cut down on the number of missed appointments which currently cost the health board around £4 million a year.

Anthony Tracey, Assistant Director of Informatics said “We recognise that in the digital age a large number of our population will benefit from receiving text messages if they are on a waiting list for an appointment, particularly if they no longer need to be, as this will help us to free up space in the system and ensure that we can run our services much more effectively.”

Stephanie Hire, General Manager Scheduled Care said “While demand for hospital outpatient services are high, we know that every year 30,000 appointments are missed in Hywel Dda which comes at a high cost to the health board and has a significant impact not just on the person missing that appointment, on waiting times, other patients and our clinicians too. Therefore we are pleased to be able to introduce these new services for the benefit of all.”

More information on text messaging can be found on our website.

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