Introduce SMS reminders for all cancer screenings to save 7,800 lives each year

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Sign this petition to save 7,800 lives every year. 

New research has revealed that receiving an SMS reminder to book and/or attend a cancer screening results in an average of 5.2% more patients attending. The technology required to provide this solution automatically, thereby saving GP practice time and patient lives, not only exists, but has been recommended by leading voices in healthcare. 

This petition is calling for NHSX (the NHS digital technology department) to end the postcode lottery and rollout a national solution for SMS messaging technology across all practices in England, thereby saving up to 7,800 lives each year. 

The ‘#RemindUs’ campaign is important and needs your support. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic decrease in cancer diagnoses due to the inability of patients to attend regular screenings, so it is now more important than ever to remind and encourage patients to attend these life-saving screening appointments. 

Presently, out of the 15 million adults across England who are invited to a screening appointment, approximately 10 million NHS patients attend. These screenings save 10,000 lives each year. If all practices in England were able to send SMS reminders to book and/or attend screening appointments, we could see a further 5.2% uplift - or 780K more patients - attending screenings. Considering that an abnormality is detected in one in every one hundred cancer screenings, this 5.2% increase in attendance achieved by sending a simple SMS reminder, could result in approximately 780,000 more patients attending screenings. Of which 7,800 lives could be saved, each and every year.  

The experts behind the ‘Remind Us’ campaign are Tobias Alpsten, Founder of iPLATO - the developers of myGP - and Professor Michael Lewis, Head of Life Science Innovation at the University of Birmingham.  Professor Lewis comments on why NHSX must act fast:  

“There are now several conclusive research papers that reveal the power of sending an SMS reminder to book or attend a screening appointment. This information cannot be ignored. I, for one, have lost too many family members to cancer to stand-by and not act upon this knowledge. 

“As the leading provider of healthcare SMS messaging, we have offered our service ‘at cost’ to NHSX, to enable them to activate the service quickly for each CCG and practice, putting an end to the postcode lottery that exists today.”

Please sign the petition and join the social media campaign by sharing the image above or creating your own post about this life-saving issue. Then tag at least three people in your life who matter to you the most. Then add hashtag #remindUs. And follow the progress of this campaign on myGP's social media accounts: