Following a successful trial of the MyHealthCall patient engagement portal, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is expanding the number of outpatient services that are available for management by patients using the NHS app.

The trust originally trialled the new booking system for outpatient gastroenterology appointments, and found that it was saving an average of 10 missed appointments every month – equating to £1,500 worth of monthly savings.

As a result the trust is expanding the service and increasing patient choice. By the end of February, patients will be able to use the NHS App’s appointment process for outpatient services in respiratory medicine, urology, gynaecology, general surgery, clinical haematology, gynaecological oncology, pain management, diabetic medicine, endocrinology, assisted reproduction, general medicine and chemical pathology.

Kath Tarn, head of outpatients and place based care at North Tees and Hartlepool, said: “Our research shows patients find the system really easy to use and it’s also reduced our number of missed appointments by an average of ten per month. Each missed appointment costs around £150 so that’s £1,500 saved every month.

“But really, the app system is all about patient choice and it’s clearly making a huge difference in how our patients manage appointments in a way that is convenient to them.

“We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to get more services on the app and we’re sure even more patients make use of the easy-to-use system as the other services come online.”

MyHealthCall pep is provided by the digital health company NHS Health Call. Ian Dove, managing director, said: “It’s fantastic to see the impact North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has made with MyHealthCall PEP in such a small amount of time. We created the platform to save valuable NHS appointments and make managing care as convenient as possible for patients.

“The trust’s ability to scale this technology so quickly is a testament to their commitment to improving services for all. It will only drive these savings, enabling more choice and flexibility in how patients manage their care.”