NHS urged to adopt text message reminders

The vast majority of Brits would like to communicate with GPs and health professionals in ways other than formal appointments, with phone and text messages proving the most popular methods.

A new survey from Trustmarque discovered the vast majority of Brits think the NHS could and should be using more technology to benefit patients and make its processes more efficient. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of respondents said they would like more contact via phone and email, while 48 per cent supported the idea of “virtual consultations” via tools like Skype.

Text message reminders for appointments proved the most popular, with 58 per cent saying this would be their preferred method. As it stands, only 32 per cent have received an appointment reminder via SMS, home.bt.com notes.

The true cost of missed appointments is almost £1 billion every year, according to the most up to date figures revealed by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Trustmarque director Angelo Di Ventura said: “The NHS is under constant pressure to reduce costs while at the same time ensuring clinical excellence.

“There is no doubt that technology can play a significant role in meeting these objectives, but these survey findings reveal that that there is a lot of work to be done if the 2020 Vision is to be met.”