New online cancellation form offers patients a flexible alternative

Patients at Southampton’s university hospitals are now able to cancel their outpatient appointments at any time of the day or night via a new online form.

Available at www.suht.nhs.uk/cancel, the new web form offers patients with outpatient appointments at Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals, along with some clinic appointments at the Royal South Hants, an alternative to phoning the number on their letter.

They can choose to cancel outright or ask to be rebooked – in which case they will receive a call from the booking office to arrange a new date.

The new system aims to help reduce the number of patients who fail to notify the Trust that they are unable to attend their appointments and, if submitted with enough notice, will result in a higher number of cancelled slots being reallocated to other patients.

“The online cancellation form provides patients attending outpatient appointments with another way of informing us that they need to cancel or rearrange,” said Adrian Byrne, director of information management and technology.

“Thousands of patients fail to inform us they are unable to attend their appointments every year, but we acknowledge that it hasn’t always been easy for people to get in touch by phone because of work and other commitments that have prevented them reaching the booking office.”

He added: “We hope this development will make things easier for patients who would prefer to contact us via our website at a time convenient to them and improve the Trust’s efficiency by filling cancelled slots that would be lost if people do not get in touch.”

Posted on Thursday 22 April 2010