Wed 16th Oct, 2019

iPLATO welcomes Professor Sir Mike Richards call for SMS reminders for all NHS screening

Todayan independent review of adult screening programmes in England, was published. Commissioned by the NHS the review came after a self-admitted difficult period for the NHS. His review addresses all NHS adult screening programmes: AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm, bowel cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and diabetic eye screening. Together these screening programmes save around 10,000 lives a year. 

Sir Mike states ‘the recommendations made in this report are designed to save lives’ and we whole heartedly support this and would like to thank Sir Mike for taking the time to meet with us in the scoping phases of his report. 

A number of recommendations are made throughout Sir Mike’s report including improved IT infrastructure and accessibility to screening services, in recommendation 13 we are delighted that ‘implementing text message reminders for all screening programmes’ has been highlighted as a high priority due to its proven success in increasing uptake.  

On page 70-71 of the report iPLATO feature in a case study discussing how GP endorsed SMS reminders have increased uptake in cervical screening across London by 4.8% – the equivalent of an additional 13000 women screened across London. 

Following the success of this, we have been appointed to run GP endorsed SMS reminders for a second year to women due their cervical screening appointment. iPLATO is also working in South East London to send SMS reminders for women due their breast screening as well as a dedicated project in Barnet across both cervical and breast screening. 

iPLATO’s Engagement Hub is able to access patient mobile numbers from GP clinical systems, allowing us to act on GP surgeries behalf and send SMS reminders to those due to attend a screening appointment.  

iPLATO is fully IG compliant and can work on screening or health campaigns from a practice level through to a national level.  

With the additional recommendations for increased access, a focus on technology and an all-round approach to prevention was welcomed by Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive who said: 

 “I’m grateful to Sir Mike for taking on this important assignment. Sir Mike’s sensible recommendations keep all that is good about NHS screening services, while rightly setting out a blueprint for more convenient access, upgraded technology, and progressively more tailored approaches to early diagnosis.” 

And on this subject, we couldn’t agree more. 

Want to know more about our Engagement Hub and how it can help you hit NHS screening targets? Contact or call Kieran Waterston on 07932 040455