SMS Messages from the Practice
Technology has advanced significantly through the pandemic and this has prompted us to look at new and more efficient methods of working. There are now two formats in which we may send our patients text messages and this statement is intended to explain the purpose of the messages we send and to reassure patients of their legitimacy.
Patients may receive text messages from us from “NHS-Noreply” and “GPSurgery”. The reason that our messages come from two places is that they generate from two separate software systems.
From “NHS-Noreply”, we send messages such as appointment reminders. We have recently started using a new functionality which allows us to send out texts to individual patients or groups of patients that allows them to book directly into relevant clinics. Examples where this is useful is for patients booking into flu clinics, blood clinics and chronic disease clinics. This has a significant benefit for patients in that it is quicker than phoning into the surgery and it improves accessibility for other patients.
Appointments from “GPSurgery” are sent using AccuRx software. AccuRx software is used for various SMS purposes such as allowing patients to send us secure photographs and for us to send short health-related questionnaires. Examples of questionnaires we may send include to asthma questionnaires or smoking status updates. Whilst these questionnaires are very short, we encourage patients to complete them as this will free up significant staff resources which we hope will bring further improvements to our accessibility. It is new technology and, as such, we feel it will only improve as the software develops and as patients become more accustomed to this method of communication.
We understand some patients are apprehensive regarding scam text messages, and hope that this statement helps to reassure patients which messages are coming from our practice.
We will never use SMS messages to ask for any financial information.