A NEW texting service has been introduced by the Isle of Wight NHS to remind patients of their hospital appointment.
Text messages will be sent to patients seven days before their appointment to confirm the date, time and location, giving them the chance to cancel or re-book their slot if required.
A further reminder will be issued 24 hours before their appointment, according to a statement issued today (Wednesday).
It is hoped the new service will reduce the number of missed appointments, which last year amounted to nearly 10,000 and cost £1 million.
NHS Isle of Wight chief operating officer Karen Baker said: "Not only is this improving the appointment booking experience, it is anticipated the messages will result in less 'did not attends' (DNAs) or missed appointments, which cost the Island’s NHS in excess of £1 million each year.
"This in turn should also free-up capacity for other patients needing appointments and reduce waiting times.
"Similar systems have proved popular at other NHS hospitals across the country, reducing DNAs by 25 per cent in some areas. We want all patients to 'get the message’ so everyone who provides us with their mobile telephone details will be eligible for this service."