At the moment a pilot is being undertaken in Preston and Morecambe for 2,000 patients who are awaiting a hospital appointment or operation. If successful, this will be increased to a larger group of patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
If you are on the list to receive an automated call, you will receive a SMS/text message from your hospital in advance to let you know you will be receiving an automated call about your hospital appointment. In the message we will include the phone number from which you will receive the automated call so that you can save the number.
The automated call will last no more than 2 minutes after you have confirmed your name and date of birth.
If you are not reached on the first call, or the call goes to an answerphone, the automated caller will try another time or day. If three consecutive automated calls are missed, you will receive a direct call from an NHS member of staff. If you miss these calls then we will leave you with a voicemail with a contact number to speak to an NHS member of staff.
Alternative methods of communication will be made available.
The caller will ask you to confirm your name and date of birth and will state the specific appointment you are being called about. Carers can also respond on behalf of those they care for if the hospital has their details.
The automated caller will state the specific appointment or operation about which we are calling you.
No, you will only be asked to confirm your name and date of birth but no other information. The NHS will never ask for bank details or other personal information not related to your healthcare.
No, you will be contacted again to double check you have answered the questions correctly.
When a landline number is used, the automated caller will ask to confirm your name, date of birth and state which appointment you are waiting for.
If you are not reached on the first call, or the call goes to an answerphone, the automated caller will try another time or day. If three consecutive calls are missed, an NHS member of staff will call you from the number we included in the SMS message.
If the call ended before you were able to answer all the questions you will either receive another automated call or will be called by an NHS staff member. You will then be asked to confirm your name and date of birth and be able to go through the questions again.