If you have any queries about using text messages to communicate please contact your care team.
We are committed to providing high quality services. Part of this is making sure we communicate with you in the best way to meet your needs and manage risks. Often this is by telephone or in person.
Verbal communications help us to find out what is happening, assess your level of distress and provide appropriate support.
Text conversations can lack the depth of information we need to respond safely.
Messages that are sent out of office hours may not be responded to in a safe or timely manner. Frequent texts that staff are unable to respond to due to other clinical commitments can also leave you feeling neglected and our staff overwhelmed.
We have developed the following guidance on using text messages based upon work we have done with service users and their experiences.
We will discuss any difficulties you may have engaging with services with you.
Please make sure your care team has your mobile telephone number accurately recorded.
We will not assume that because you have given us your mobile phone number that you are consenting to receive text messages.
We will ask your specific consent to use text messages to communicate with you. You can give or withdraw your consent at any time.
If you have given consent…
Staff members will text from their work mobile telephone to:
- confirm an appointment
- acknowledge receipt of a message
- provide a telephone number, for example the main office telephone number for your care team.
Staff members won’t text to:
- cancel or rearrange an appointment
- discuss your current difficulties or safety
- discuss your current care plan and the agreed interventions.
Communicating with us…
- between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (if your worker’s hours are different they will let you know)
- to confirm an appointment
- to cancel an appointment
- to send apologies if you are going to be late for an appointment
- to request a phone appointment with your worker.
If you do not receive a response to a text message, please contact your care team via telephone on the number provided at the start of this information.
- outside working hours
- if you are experiencing a mental health crisis or feel that you are in immediate danger of serious harm please telephone your care team immediately. Your local crisis team will also be able to help you (their details are in your care plan). More information on what do in a crisis can be found on the Trust website tewv.nhs.uk/services/crisisadvice
- with updates about your mental health – please discuss these by phone or in person with your worker(s)
- with information that requires an immediate response – sending a text message does not guarantee it is immediately received; there can be significant delays in both receiving and responding to messages
- using ‘text-speak’, abbreviations, emojis or symbols – this can be difficult to understand and can cause confusion
- using inappropriate language that could cause offence, such as swearing or racial comments – we will record and report any such messages using our incident reporting systems
- with personal or sensitive information.
If your mobile phone number changes please let your worker know so that they can update the records held by the team.
If your worker changes their mobile number they will let you know their new details.
Your care record
We will record whether you have consented to receive text messages on your clinical record.
All text communication will be transcribed onto your care record including:
- details of the time they were sent/received
- the mobile number they were sent from/to.
Once the information has been transcribed the message will be deleted from the worker’s mobile phone.
|Date last updated:||29/01/2019|
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