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GP practices can send unlimited number of texts to patients as caps lifted

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CCGs should not be capping the number of text messages GP practices can use to communicate with their patients, NHS England has said.

In a weekly webinar with practices, NHS England said it has secured funding to ensure that practices are able to use an unlimited number of texts to communicate with patients.

Should practices find this is not the case, they should alert NHS England, its digital lead Dr Masood Nazir said.

Dr Nazir said NHS England had asked practices to ‘highlight where CCGs were putting a cap on their [SMS] messaging’.

‘We should be communicating effectively with our patients to make sure they know exactly what’s going on. There’s lots of information that needs to be imparted and what’s the best way to do it for your whole practice – text messaging has landed reasonably well for the majority of patients and so having caps on there wasn’t helpful,’ he said.

In response, NHS England ‘agreed with the regions’ that it ‘would ask all CCGs to try and remove any caps on text messaging and tell us how much it would cost’.

Dr Nazir said: ‘We’ve managed to secure the funding that was needed to be able to meet that so there shouldn’t be any CCGs out there putting any caps on the ability of practices to text patients.

‘If that is the case please contact us and we’ll work with the regional teams to support your CCG to make sure they’ve got what they need.’