NHS Direct has launched a text messaging service providing details of local health services, including your nearest dentist.
Send a text message to 61121 with the name of the service required and a postcode and a response will be sent back with information about the closest services to that address.
In the case of seeking a dentist, the text sent back includes the name and telephone number of the surgery, and its distance in miles from the provided postcode.
If they’re not suitable, patients can send a reply saying ‘more’ for three more surgery options.
‘It enables people to access health information on the go,’ NHS Direct commercial director Ronnette Lucraft enthused.
‘To start with, we’re launching the service as a pilot through our Freeview digital TV service, available on channel 108, to test the technology and gauge usage before promoting it to a wider audience.
‘There are now more active mobile phone connections than UK residents and 84% of UK adults use a mobile phone regularly, so the service has a huge potential audience. Significantly, mobile phones are now used by all sections of society, and there is evidence that mobile phone usage is higher amongst hard to reach social groups.’
Further developments are planned, including health alerts and the option to leave feedback.
Text messages to 61121 are charged at standard rates.