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University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust uses Accurx patient mesaging to reduce waiting list by 10%

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) has been using Accurx to validate patients on its waiting lists across four initial specialities: Neurology, Paediatric Pain, Gynaecology and Long-COVID. The Trust has used Accurx Patient Messaging to communicate with patients via SMS on waiting lists to see if they still need their overdue first appointment or follow-up appointment.

Collectively, 2093 patients have been contacted across the initial four specialities via Accurx SMS, asking if they still require the service simply by replying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. 10% replied saying they no longer need the service, and these patients were subsequently removed from the waiting list. This means their appointment slots can be offered to others and the Trust is moving through its backlog more efficiently.

Accurx’s Patient Messaging feature works by allowing a healthcare professional to request a single response from a patient, meaning there is no risk of a patient sending multiple reply messages. Patients have up to seven days to respond to a message, and when a patient replies, the response goes straight into the NHS inbox of that healthcare professional or team.

After the success across the four initial specialities, UHL has now rolled out Accurx SMS messaging to validate patients on its waiting lists across 15 other specialities, including paediatrics, epilepsy and respiratory. So far, nearly 18,000 patients have been messaged in total and the Trust is waiting for all patient responses to assess the results.

Sandie Martin, Improvement Lead at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to use technology in the Trust to deliver better patient care. This latest example with Accurx has been incredibly effective in helping us tackle our elective care backlog.”

Aimee Geary, Strategy and Partnerships Manager at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “This latest work with Accurx has been so successful that we’ve very quickly rolled it out across even more specialities in our Trust! Being able to easily and quickly communicate with patients, through simple technology, means we are confident we can move through the backlog faster.”

Accurx was first used at UHL during COVID to ensure the continuation of communication with patients via virtual consultations and patient messaging. Since then, there have been >13K video consultation invites and messages sent to patients. Most recently, 15 services have been set up with shared inboxes in Accurx Web, meaning teams can collectively view and action messages sent to their patients as a team, ensuring no patient responses are missed. Accurx is also working with UHL to implement a digital triage-first approach to Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU).

Dr Satya Raghuvanshi, Head of Clinical at Accurx said: “Trusts across the country have been working incredibly hard to tackle the backlog for elective care and ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible. But current ways of communicating with those patients on waiting lists, like calling them or sending letters, only add to the administrative burden staff face, waste hours of time and lead to patients getting lost in the system and missing out on crucial care.

“Our work with University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust illustrates the power that really simple technology to enable communications with patients can have on the elective backlog. We’re looking forward to continuing to see the impact at UHL in helping other services in the trust manage their waiting lists more efficiently.”

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