Appointments

Your comments

You were concerned that too many appointments are cancelled or missed and there sometimes can be long waiting times for letters and appointments.

You also said appointment letters were not made available in different formats, such as large print.

Our response

We have been working hard to improve our appointments system and recently launched a telephone reminder service for all outpatient appointments.

All patients with an outpatient appointment at the Great Western Hospital or at one the Trust's community hospitals will receive a text message or automated telephone call around a week before their appointment.

Patients will be reminded of the location, date and time of their appointment and be asked to confirm, cancel or rearrange.

As well as being a convenient reminder, the service aims to reduce the number of missed appointments.

Outpatient departments across the Trust are also using virtual clinics as an efficient way of communicating with patients.

Virtual clinics mean that patients don't have to come into hospital for an outpatient appointment if the information they need can be given to them safely without a face-to-face meeting.

There are two types of virtual clinic:

  • A phone call between a clinician and a patient to discuss results, provide reassurance or communicate actions
  • A virtual review (clinical letter) to the patient and their GP to communicate results, reassurance or actions.

We've also started a project to speed up allocation of appointments which involves investment in additional reception staff.

If you would like your appointment letter in a different format (e.g. large print) please let us know.

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