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Text Message Reminder and Information Service

Text Message Reminders

We are improving our text message reminder service. For some time, we have had the facility to send patients a text message to remind them of their appointments at the surgery. The text messages are sent automatically from our appointment system to each patient. The messages are usually sent the day before the appointment is due, except for appointments which are on Monday, when the message will go out on the previous Friday (please note, the time you receive the text may vary due to the capacity of your mobile network). Patients who sign up for this service will receive a message similar to the one below direct to their mobile phone.

“Appointment Reminder, June 11 and 12:40pm with 'Doctor/ Nurse' at Gold Street Surgery, If you can't attend please text back "CANCEL" to xxxxxxxxxxxx”.

Please do not text back anything more than the word CANCEL as we may not receive this message if you do. Alternatively please call the surgery on 01799 525325 to cancel your appointment as soon as possible, so we can offer the appointment to another patient.

This service is completely free and confidential for our patients and it is very simple to set up. When you next book an appointment tell the receptionist your mobile phone number which will be added to your clinical record. Our appointment system then does all of the work automatically for us, sending out reminders to all patients for the following day.

Our new system also allows us to send out health promotion messages and reminders to selected patients, for example to remind you to get your annual flu jab, or to come in for a blood pressure check. It also allows us to see (anonymously!) how satisfied you are with our service by sending out a very short questionnaire after you've attended an appointment.

We can also use the system to ask simple health questions, such as asking whether you smoke or would be interested in help to stop. In all cases, the service uses secure systems to keep your personal information safe.

Text messaging is not a channel for clinical enquiries or conversations. Please do not send medical questions or requests to the surgery by text. As most of the messaging system is automated it may be some time before any text message is seen. If you need urgent assistance, please contact the surgery by phone on 01799 525325 or dial 111 outside surgery hours for our out-of-hours service (calls to 111 are free from both landlines and mobiles). For very urgent or life-threatening emergencies, please always call 999.

The surgery's booking system, and the system used to send messages are secure to NHS standards. However, text messages are sent over the public mobile phone network and to your personal phone. We cannot be responsible for messages once they have left the NHS system.

IMPORTANT: You have the right to opt out of this service at any time. If you would prefer not to receive text message reminders please just let a member of the reception team know and they will disable this for you.


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