EAST Lancashire Hospital's NHS Trust appointments will now be sent directly to patient's mobile phones.

The new digital appointment letters will replace traditional printed ones.

All new pre-op assessment, elective admission, therapy and musculoskeletal appointments will be now sent directly to patient's phones.

Patients receive a text to their mobile phone with a secure link and four-digit pin.

Patients simply click the link to their secure access page, enter the pin and date of birth and their appointment letter appears.

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

John Bannister, the trust's director of operations, said: "The new system greatly improves the patient’s experience, patients can confirm, cancel or arrange to rebook their appointment with one click.

"Once confirmed, the appointment can be added directly into the patient’s digital calendar, saved on the patient’s phone or forwarded it to their email for printing."

As an extra security measure, if the link isn’t accessed within 24 hours the electronic letter will be deleted and a paper letter automatically sent to the patient.

Sue Elliston, ELHT outpatients project manager, said: "We are really excited to extend this new technology which has been welcomed by patients and staff."