How we use email and text services and your right to opt out

Guidance for patients and service users

The practice may use email and text messaging to contact you with:

· Appointment reminders

· Appointment letters

· Individual invites to screening, medication reviews, vaccination appointments

· Test result notifications/advice to call the practice where action is needed

· Friends and family test surveys

· Interactive messages with the ability to confirm/cancel appointments. We prefer that you use GP online services for the following:

· Ordering repeat prescriptions

· Requesting appointments or non-urgent advice

· Updating your health and care.

You can choose not to receive emails and text messages from us. If you make this decision it will be noted on your record so other members of staff know how you wish to be contacted. You can change your mind at any time by informing us. Please see our page, ‘how we use your information’ for details about how we store, process and share this with other care organisations.

There are benefits to using email and text messages to communicate with your health and care provider as it:

· Provides an easy, low cost way for you to contact your health and care provider

· Saves you time waiting on the phone to get through e.g. to the GP practice or hospital appointment line

· Supports people with hearing difficulties and other sensory impairments.

Things to consider

You should consider the following before agreeing to use emails and text messages for communications with your health and care provider.

· Does anyone else have access to your phone or email and if so, would you be happy for them to see any messages you may receive?

· Health and care providers use encrypted emails which means that no one can see or tamper with the data while it is being transferred across the network or internet. Your own emails to us may not be encrypted.

· You are responsible for ensuring that you provide the correct email address and mobile number. Please inform us of any changes. This will ensure you don’t miss any information and it avoids information going astray should it be sent to the wrong email or phone number.

Be careful of spam texts or emails that might come from people posing as a health or care organisation. We will always make it clear that the email or text message is from us and will provide information in advance about what you may be texted or emailed about.

If you are unable to receive email/text messages or choose not to, then you can continue to use other communication methods e.g. phone calls