A reminder system designed to reduce the number of people who miss their outpatient appointments is being introduced at West Suffolk Hospital.

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The automated service will telephone patients a week before their appointment to remind them of the date, time and location. Patients will also continue to receive a letter in the post giving them full details. The initiative will be phased in from next week to help West Suffolk cut down on missed appointments, which last year stood at 20,795.

Debs Wakefield, outpatients manager at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “Although the number of missed appointments at West Suffolk is just below the national average, we are always looking for ways to reduce the number still further.”

The reminder system will be introduced in the diabetes clinics first before being rolled out across outpatient clinics. Anyone who wishes to opt out or amend their contact details should speak to the receptionist when they visit. The hospital will also look at intoducing a text reminder system.

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