Patients get the message

GPs in the Lothians are text messaging patients to remind them to attend appointments.

Two East Lothian surgeries have launched a pilot, and indications are that it is having a positive impact. More than 2300 messages have been sent, with health chiefs comparing them favourably with the "onerous" task of writing letters.

One of the GPs involved, Dr Jon Turvill, who is lead GP for long-term conditions for the East Lothian Community Health Partnership, said: "The texting service will help practices manage not only their appointments systems, but also help them manage long-term conditions, and get patients in for their routine check-ups.

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"The system of writing and posting letters is onerous by comparison, although we still have to send letters to those who don't have a mobile."