If your GP, dentist, optician or other clinical services refers you for hospital care, the request will go to the outpatient booking department. 

The first appointment is usually made by your GP surgery or referring clinician.

When an appointment becomes available, we will either attempt to telephone you or write a letter. So, please check the person referring you has your correct address and phone number.

Where appropriate, you may be offered a telephone or video consultation.

On receipt of your referral, a clinician will review the information and advise the appointments team how urgent the referral is.You will receive an acknowledgement letter advising that the review has taken place and we will confirm your appointment date a maximum of six weeks before.

Electronic appointment letters and text reminder services

We now use electronic patient letters to notify you regarding your upcoming outpatient appointment.

Patients who have a mobile phone number registered with the hospital, will be offered their letter digitally. If the digital letter is not accessed within 24 hours or no mobile number is held with the hospital, then a postal letter is automatically sent and the digital letter is deleted.

Not only can patients view all their appointment details on their smartphone, tablet or computer, they can cancel or confirm the appointment in one click. This can then be added directly into the patient’s digital calendar as a further reminder prompt.

The system is safe and secure and can only be accessed with the PIN and the patient's date of birth. As well as the appointment date and time, the letter also includes any pre-assessment instructions, essential reading and hospital information as attachments.

  • Patients can access their appointment information anytime and anywhere by smartphone, tablet and desktop. Details can be emailed and printed off too.
  • Appointments can be cancelled with 1-click, so it’s much more likely for patients to communicate intentions, releasing appointments for waiting list patients.
  • The appointment can be added directly into the patient’s digital calendar to reduce the risk of forgetting their appointment and keep their treatment on track.
  • Work out travel plans with a live home to hospital Google map with real time travel times.
  • Add speech, reading and translation options to digital text. The letter content can be read aloud in multiple languages to the patient too!
  • Receive hospital communications by their preference; patients less confident with technology will still receive the traditional postal letter.

Rather than having to wait for letters to arrive or rebook by phone, digital delivery is instant and patients can now see and control their appointments at the touch of a button.

We will also remind you via text message seven days before the appointment date and one day before.

Automated phone calls

You may receive a text or phone call if you have been waiting for an appointment for more than 12 weeks.

These phone calls may be automated from this number: 0330 808 8929.

This service is part of the "chatbot" service used across Lancashire and South Cumbria, guiding patients through a series of questions designed by NHS consultants and healthcare experts.

Learn more about this service and see some commonly asked questions.

Text reminders electronic letters opt out

If you no longer want to receive text reminders, reply STOP to the most recent text message. Alternatively, you can update your preference by calling the Appointments team on 01253 953540, or at reception on your next visit to the hospital.