PATIENTS will be able to receive appointment letters directly to their mobile phone under new technology being introduced.

The new electronic patient letters will be issued to all outpatients who have registered a mobile phone number with the hospital.

But patients who would prefer a postal appointment letter should make staff aware, who will then update their records to make sure they still get them.

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust said the new system ‘greatly improves’ the patients' experience.

The trust said patients can confirm, cancel or arrange to rebook their appointment with one click.

Once confirmed, the appointment can be added directly into the patients digital calendar, aiming to reduce the risk of forgetting their appointment.

Patients will also be able to save the letter to their phone or email it to print it off.

John Bannister, director of operations at the trust, said: “We are really excited to launch this new system.

“It will make the appointment process easier for our patients giving them all the information they need at their fingertips.

“The system is interactive enabling instant control to accept, cancel or rearrange appointments, as well as the ability to translate the letters in to multiple languages.

“Overall it is a better, much smoother system which will enhance the patient experience.”

It will also see patients receive a text to their mobile phone with a secure link and four-digit PIN. To access the letter, patients can click the link to their secure access page and enter the PIN and date of birth and their appointment letter appears.

As well as their appointment date and time the letter also include pre-assessment instructions, essential reading and hospital information.

From today, all new general outpatients appointments will be issued using the new system.

Existing appointments will not be affected.

Outpatients will be given a provisional future appointment date at their next visit to the department.

Six weeks prior to the provisional date it will be confirmed via the electronic letter sent to the patients phone.

Further clinics, such as therapies, radiology and audiology, will be added to the system as it is rolled out throughout the organisation.