ROYAL Bolton's NHS trust has begun sending out key appointment information for patients in digital letters.

Managers hope that this method will prove to be more efficient, allowing patients to confirm, cancel or book with just one click.

The rollout began the week on Tuesday January 18.

Bolton NHS foundation trust deputy divisional director Ryan Calderbank said: "We want to make sure we meet our patients’ needs and this new system will guarantee people receive their appointment details ahead of time, giving them the option to manage their own appointments.

"We know that not all our appointment letters arrive in time meaning unintentionally missed appointments, so this move to a digital system will help to stop this happening.

"Not only will this reduce the number of missed appointments but it also has the added benefit of reducing our carbon footprint and our postage costs.

"Thank you to our project team, working alongside healthcare communications, for delivering this in what has been a great team effort."

The digital letters will go out to 90 per cent of outpatients by texting them a link which takes them to a website that allows them to make and manage their appointments.

They can be translated into 100 languages and also include features such as a read-aloud service and adjustable text sizing.

Patients who do not have a mobile phone will still receive paper letters.