A new virtual system that will give Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s patients more flexibility to control their own appointments will be rolled out to most outpatient suites from the end of November.

Patient Hub, provided by Netcall, has been rolled out in phases since early June 2020 as part of the Trust’s recovery and restoration of services. The final phase will go live in late November before the full functionality of the system is switched on in the New Year.

Patients who have already used the system have only had limited use as it was introduced slowly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Once completely ready, the secure online portal will allow our patients to check their appointments on their phone, tablet or desktop and request a call back from our booked admission team if they wish to discuss rearranging or cancelling the appointment.

Director of ICT and Patient Records, Ian Hazel, said: “It’s a great system that will make a big difference to the patient experience before they even enter the building. It will provide more choice, flexibility and accessibility to their appointment, making it much easier to contact the hospital and rearrange an appointment if there is a problem with the original booking.

“All patients with a registered mobile phone number or email address will automatically have access to this service. What happens is, the individual will be sent a text message or email from the hospital, including a link that, when clicked, will ask you to confirm your mobile number or email address and date of birth when prompted. A six digit authentication code will then be texted or emailed that, once entered, will give you access to Patient Hub.

“It’s all very straightforward and is a system that you will be invited to join when you have an upcoming appointment. Once accepted, you will be able to view and accept an appointment on your own mobile device; more convenient for the patients with the added benefit of having a positive impact on the environment by eliminating the need to print hundreds of thousands of letters each year.”

Deputy Medical Director Jon Cort was one of the clinical leads who took the project forward, he said: “We’ve listened to what patients have been telling us which is that they would like an easier way for them to be able to plan their appointments around their daily lives. People’s circumstances change all of the time and it’s not always easy to remember when your appointment will take place or where you put your appointment letter.

“By having your appointment details literally in the palm of your hand and providing you with an easier and more convenient way to get in touch with our Booked Admissions team, it takes a lot less time and effort if you need to rearrange an appointment due to a change in circumstances. You can do it at your own convenience and synchronise it with your device to set an easy reminder, putting the patient in control of their own appointment.”

Gael Hepburn, a patient of the Trust and a regular user of the platform, has said: "Working from home can be surprisingly hectic so it's very helpful to be able to make appointments around my workload. Being able to check appointment dates and times and to see where the department I need to visit is using the Patient Hub on my phone is easy, saves me time and is really quick and convenient."

For further information on the Patient Hub, please visit https://www.chesterfieldroyal.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/patient-hub