Digital appointment letters

We’ve moved over to digital letters in Outpatients – it means you can now view your appointment letter on your mobile phone.

You don’t need to wait for your appointment letter to arrive in the post and you can confirm, cancel or rebook your appointment at the click of a button. Don’t worry about missing a letter though as if you don’t open the digital letter a hard copy will be sent to you in the post.

Make sure we have your current mobile phone number. Email with your full name, date-of-birth and postcode or your NHS number if you know it so we can update your records.

Top tips!

The first time you open the portal you can take a tour of how to use the system. Struggling to read the letter? You can zoom and stretch the text.

How does it work?

Watch this video to see how it works:

What happens when you receive the text

1. You will receive a text reminder to your smartphone with your appointment details – it will come from ‘NHS NLaG’ and say ‘This is a Patient Portal digital letter invitation from North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.’ Simply click the link in the text message to take you through to the Portal.

Update! We’ve now made it so your name will be on the text so A) you know it’s a genuine message for you, and B) if you’re a parent you’ll know which child the letter is for before you open it.

2. When you enter the Outpatient Portal, put in your date of birth and unique four-digit PIN from the text message. This will take you to your appointment detail page, where you will be able to see your appointment date, as well as hospital and clinic information.

3. Select whether you want to confirm, rebook or cancel your appointment. Confirming your appointment will let you add the appointment to your own calendar and send you a reminder nearer the time. If you can’t attend the date specified in the letter, you can choose to rebook or cancel your appointment. If you select rebook we will contact you to arrange another date.

It’s quick, easy, safe and secure and should the digital letter not be opened within 24 hours the system will automatically print and post a copy out to your address.

“What a revelation! I was able to read a letter addressed to me without needing ‘an outsider’ to read a private and confidential letter to me.Thank you, what a difference this is going to make!”

Colin Boyce, visually impaired patient

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I don’t receive or respond to the message sent to my phone?

If you don’t access your letter within 24 hours of receiving the text message the system will automatically generate a physical letter be sent to you in the post. You’ll also automatically receive a letter after three unsuccessful login attempts to the portal.

What if I don’t have a smartphone?

You will still receive a text message but won’t be able to access the portal link. Don’t worry though, a hard copy of the letter will automatically be sent to your home address.

How do I opt in to receive digital letters?

If we have your up-to-date mobile phone number you don’t need to do anything, you’ll be automatically opted in to receiving digital appointment letters. If your details have changed please call the number on your letter or email with your full name, date-of-birth and postcode or your NHS number if you know it so we can update your records.

If I delete the text by mistake after I have opened it up how will I remember my appointment date?

There is an option to add the appointment to your phone calendar when you open the digital letter. You can also register for the patient portal to view all your previous letters in one place – just click register at the top right hand corner once you’ve opened the letter.
We will also continue to send our appointment reminder text messages ahead of your appointment.

How do I opt out of digital letters?

If you don’t want to receive appointment information via text messages or through the portal, contact your speciality admin team or email with your full name, date-of-birth and postcode or your NHS number if you know it.

How can I convert my digital letter to multiple languages or change the size of the text?

You can view accessibility functionality in the top right-hand corner of the page. Features include translating your appointment letter to a chosen language, creating an MP3 file, text highlighting tool, and text magnifier to allow increased text size.

If someone has my phone can they access my letter?

The system is secure – you need to put your date of birth and the pin from the text message in to be able to access your appointment letter.

I am a carer and usually deal with my loved ones appointment letters – can my number be added on to receive the letters as well?

We can only send digital letters to one mobile number per patient. If you wish to change the number to yours we can do that (with consent from the patient) but please bear in mind that this will change the contact number we have for all correspondence/ contact from the Trust. Please speak to the relevant speciality admin team or email to request this change. Alternatively the patient could opt out of receiving digital letters and continue to receive a letter in the post