NHS Appointment Notifications Need to Be Smarter

Today I went to the hospital for a regular check-up, and everything was fine and dandy. But what wasn’t fine and dandy was the 10 missed calls the automated appointment had left me.

I’m all for making sure people don’t miss their appointments. I think there’s a ton of money wasted each year in the NHS when people don’t turn up. But ringing people on an automated line isn’t the answer.

Less and less people pick up the phone nowadays—especially millennials like me. In fact, I have my phone on do not disturb to get rid of annoying buzzes, and I get shocked each time I see someone calling me. It’s not normal anymore.

If the NHS is going to keep up with the younger generation, I think they’ll need to come up with new ways to remind people of their upcoming appointment. Maybe it’s not right for everyone, but neither is the current solution.

It would awesome to see these public services use platforms like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, or just SMS. Something that doesn’t disturb people, and something that fits in with more people’s lives. I think it would be interesting to see the impact it would make on attendance.

Trouble is, these services might not be around in 5 years, but while it’s becoming more unpopular for younger people, calling someone has stood the test of time so far. I can see why it’s a great communication platform to build a system like this on, but more needs to be done to keep people in the loop.


I’m writing about something that interests me every day for a year. This is day 25 of 365. ✌️