"An automated phone call from nhs lanarkshire"

About: NHS Lanarkshire

(as the patient),

The call asked me to confirm that the message was for me by pressing a certain key Then I was asked to confirm my date of birth by entering the information in an abnormal way I. e. Example. If my date of birth was 1975 to enter it as 1575. I failed to get to grips with this in sufficient time, and the call was terminated. When I tried dialling 1471 I got the message "This number does not accept incoming calls".

What could be improved? A simpler question for an 80 year old.

If the message was important, will I receive another call.

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Response from Rick Edwards, Patient Information & Experience Manager, Patient Affairs, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Rick Edwards

Dear Annis,

I can only apologise for the frustration and difficulties you experienced.

The automated message service is used to remind people about forthcoming appointments in an effort to improve attendance rates. The system needs to confirm some personal information before delivering the message to ensure we have the correct person. It is possible to opt out of this service by contacting the Referral Management Service as detailed in your appointment letter.

If you would like to contact the Referral Management Service General Enquiry Line on Tel No: 0300 303 0249. They will be happy to speak to you about your appointment and the difficulties you experienced.

Kind regards

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Update posted by Annis (the patient)

A very helpful response to the story I have just submitted about an automated phone call from NHS Lanarkshire.

The response explained that the automated message service is used to remind people about forthcoming appointments and that details would be given in the appointment letter. I was very worried since I had not had an appointment letter. What could have gone wrong?

Then I remembered that my husband had an appointment within the next few days - and our names sound very much the same. The call must have been intended for him, and I had entered my details! No wonder the call was terminated.

I am very glad to know about the automated message service and will be more prepared to deal with one in future.