FINANCE: A text message service reminding patients about their outpatient appointments at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust has saved more than £84,000 in eight months.

In May last year the trust began sending text reminders to patients a week before they were due to attend appointments at Stafford or Cannock hospitals.

Patients receive either a text message to their mobile phone, or a voice message on their landline number. It also allows patients to speak with a member of staff to alter their appointment or leave a message if calling outside of normal office hours. 

Over the last eight months, the trust estimates the reminder system has meant 1,135 more patients have attended appointments, who would have forgotten them, saving wasted time for both consultants and nursing staff.