PATIENT SAFETY Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust has introduced a new appointment reminder service for patients to cut the number of ‘no-shows’.

The free service will see the hospital calling patients a few days before their appointment and allow them to rearrange if they are unable to attend.

Out of 93,881 new patient appointments so far this financial year, 6,452 failed to attend. The hospital hopes the new service will reduce the number of absentees.

A hospital statement said: “This should reduce the number of patients who ‘do not attend’ and create opportunities to offer the cancelled appointments to other patients.

“A limited trial of the appointment reminder system was carried out at the trust in 2012 and it was found to have released 941 appointments for urgent / short notice bookings and reduced the amount of ‘did not attend’ appointments for new patients by almost 1%.

“Due to the success of this, it was decided that it should be made available to all areas of the trust.”