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Patient Engagement Portal is now live

At County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust our priority is ensuring all our patients have the very best care and experience, so we are excited that our Patient Engagement Portal, which enables outpatient appointments being visible to patients within the NHS App, went live with an initial Gastroenterology pilot on 30 January 2024.

Following the successful pilot we have a six month programme to roll out to other outpatient specialties.  The App will make life easier for patients receiving outpatient care, by offering them more control over their appointments and making it easier access to appointment information.

Julie Form, Outpatient Transformation Lead, explains: "Our Patient Engagement Portal is part of a national programme and uses the NHS App, which many patients already use, to give them access to their outpatient hospital appointments and letters, digitally."

Using the NHS App, patients will be able to access their appointment details and will have the functionality to submit a request to rearrange or cancel their appointments without the need to contact us by telephone. They will be able to remind themselves at a glance when and where their appointment is as well as receiving in-app notifications and SMS appointment reminders.

The new system aims to reduce the likelihood of patients missing appointments.

In the future appointment letters will also be available in the NHS app as well as pre-appointment questionnaires.  Patients can update their preferences and have the option as to whether they receive documentation digitally or continue to receive letters through the post.

Patients will simply have to download the NHS App - no add-ons will be needed and patient information is completely secure and confidential.

Patients who do not have the NHS App and do not wish to receive their appointment information digitally will continue to receive their appointment letters by post.

Our portal has been developed in collaboration with Health Call Solutions, the NHS-owned digital health company we helped to establish several years ago and with whom we regularly partner in innovative digital health projects.

Our project team will ensure that colleagues working in outpatients and other areas are familiar with the app and how it works in order to address any patient concerns. Anyone who would like further information can contact the Patient Engagement Portal Project Manager:

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital