Text Messaging

 

This service is available to all registered patients, 14 years of age or older, who have their own mobile phone number(1) entered into their clinical record and have explicitly given us permission to contact them by text message.

You can withdraw your permission at any time by texting STOP to 07860 035 293 (2)

If you want to inform us of your mobile number, or if your number changes, you can notify the practice of your new details by filling in the change of details form available at reception, or via the practice website at www.bruntsfieldmedicalpractice.co.uk/how-do-i/update-you-on-my-information/change-my-personal-details

If you don’t opt out of the texting service, you will start to receive the following types of messages.

Appointment confirmations & reminders

You will receive a confirmation of your appointment within a few minutes of it being booked, and we will send out an appointment reminder 6 to 48 hours before any appointment with a practice GP or practice nurse (depending on how far ahead you booked your appointment). If you can no longer make this appointment there will be a facility to cancel via text.

Clinic cancellations

On the rare occasions that a clinic needs to be cancelled we will initially contact everyone by a text message; to both notify them of the cancellation and ask them to call us to have their appointment rearranged.

The practice will NOT be sending automatic texts containing test results, or other sensitive information. This clearly has the potential to breach individuals’ rights to medical confidentiality. However individual members of the practice team would have the opportunity to gain explicit permission for a one-off text to send out a personalised message. For example an important test result may be coming back after someone has left to go on holiday, and it may be possible to convey that result by text message if this is agreed by all parties.

Over the course of the 2016 we will expand the messaging service to include:

Routine care reminders

For example “You are due your annual medication review / annual flu vaccination / annual asthma review / diabetes review / etc. Please call the practice to arrange an appointment”.

Service announcements

We intend to publicise the availability of new editions of the practice newsletter. We also intend to give notice of the infrequent times that the practice is closed for public holidays and in-house training.

Occasional, patient specific, administrative messages

  • If it appears that we have be incorrect address or home phone number we may send a text message requesting that an individual contact the surgery to confirm their contact details.
  • If we have completed a report / form on behalf of an individual we may send a text message to confirm when this is ready to review / collect from the practice reception.

Surveys

We do not have any plans to undertake regular surveys, distracting registered users of the service with unnecessary messages. However from time to time it may be useful to undertake a survey, for example to gather up-to-date information on the smoking habits of registered patients.

We hope that by setting up this service we will reduce the number of wasted appointments (approximately 4% of booked appointments, around 135 a month, are wasted) and improve the efficiency of our communication with everyone who uses the practice.

As with any new system we would welcome constructive feedback. The best way to do this is by filling in the website feedback form, or in writing to The IT Department, Bruntsfield Medical Practice, 11 Forbes Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4EY.

NOTES:
(1) To avoid any risk of breaking patient confidentiality, we will only send texts to mobile numbers that belong to the patient in question. This means, for example, that the parent of a child (aged 14 or over) who asked us to put their mobile number in their child’s record won’t get the confirmation or reminder for the child’s appointment.

Please be aware, however, that if you are an adult, but have been registered with the Practice since you were a child, you may want to contact us to ensure we have only your contact numbers, and not those of a parent or guardian.

(2) This is an automated system, and the only SMS messages from patients that it will pick up are “pre-programmed” e.g. opting out of the system or cancelling an appointment. Any unprompted general text/enquiry will not be seen or reviewed by anyone at the Practice.