Access to treatment
The NHS Constitution sets out your right to access certain NHS services within maximum waiting times, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of suitable alternative providers if this is not possible. In particular, you have the right to:
- Start your consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions
- Be seen by a cancer specialist within a maximum of two weeks from GP referral for urgent referrals where cancer is suspected
All the waiting times are described in the Handbook to the NHS Constitution (page 27). Please note there are exceptions in the right to treatment within 18 weeks from referral where:
- You choose to wait longer
- Delaying the start of your treatment is in your best clinical interests
- It is clinically appropriate for your condition to be monitored without clinical intervention or a diagnostic procedure at that stage
- You fail to attend appointments
- The treatment is no longer necessary
Changing or cancelling an appointment
The NHS Constitution also sets out your responsibilities as a patient when you have been given an appointment.
If your appointment date is unsuitable, please call now using the telephone number on your letter or card. This will allow us to offer appointments to other patients and give you an appointment that you can attend. Attending your appointment helps us to offer you treatment within waiting time of 18 weeks.
Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you change or cancel your appointment more than once, you may be discharged back to the care of your GP.
Text reminder service
The Trust is using a text messaging service as a useful reminder of your hospital appointments and to help reduce the number of missed appointments. If you have supplied us with your mobile number, you may receive a text reminder.
How it works
Text reminders will be sent one week before your appointment, then 48 hours before.
The text reminder will contain the following information:
Seven day reminder
(hospital) is expecting (name) at (location) on (date) at (time). Not attending without letting us know costs the NHS £100. Call (contact number) if you need to cancel or rearrange. Reply STOP if you want to opt out of future reminders. Thank you.
48 Hour Reminder
(hospital) is expecting you on (date) at (time). Call (contact number) to cancel or rearrange. Reply STOP if you want to opt out of reminders.
If you are unable to attend your appointment please let us know as soon as possible so another patient can be given that appointment slot. You can rearrange your appointment by calling 01695 656680 or emailing email@example.com
Please ensure we have your current mobile telephone number. You can do this when you make your appointment with us, or by letting the receptionist know when you visit. Alternatively, you can call us on 01695 656680 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not wish to receive a text appointment reminder you can opt out of the service.
You can do this by:
- Texting STOP to 07841920170 or 07841920172
- Telephone 01695 656680
- By email to email@example.com.
Following this, we will ensure that you are removed from the system within 21days.
You can opt back in at any time by contacting 01695 656680, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How will we use your information?
The contact information we store will only be used by us. We will not pass on your information to any other party. All personal information will be kept in line with Data Protection Act and the Department of Health record retention guidance.
For further information please contact Information Governance on 01704 70 48686