All frequently
asked questions

Service FAQs

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Will patients be booked into the wrong slot types?

No. You tell us which appointments are suitable for each target by changing the slot properties in your clinic template. This means that we can only see the appointments that you share with us. This is good news for two reasons. Firstly, it means patients can only be booked into the right slots. Secondly, it means that you only have to update your clinic template once. Plus, every time you add more clinics, Appt will have more appointment availability.

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Is appthealth integrated with my patient administration system (PAS)?

Yes. We use NHS Digital’s APIs, which allow appthealth’s system to securely speak to your PAS. Our integration can read patient demographics, contact details and identify the appointment slots that you make available to us. This allows us to book patients directly into the slot that they choose.

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How does Appt know which patients to invite?

You have full control over which patients Appt invites by simply uploading a patient list to our management portal. This is the same list that you create when you run a search for eligible patients in your PAS, exported to excel and saved as a .csv file. This way we know which patients to invite.

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How does Appt manage patients without a mobile phone (or an incorrect mobile number)?

We understand that some patients might not be reachable by Appt, because they don’t have a mobile phone, because their phone number fails when we try it or because they don’t want to be contacted by SMS. Any patient who falls into one of these categories will move to the call list section of the application for your admin teams to contact manually. This means that no-one falls through the cracks and that practice staff time is spent where it is most needed.

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How do I get started using the Appt service?

Getting started is quick and easy. Just click the Get Started button (at the top of every page) and book a meeting with a friendly human in the appthealth team. We will ask you to sign a data processing agreement and a service agreement (these are necessary as they give us the legal basis to process the data necessary to providng our service) and we will send you the instructions to set up your appthealth user account using your NHS email address.  That’s it! It really doesn’t take long and our friendly team will help you along the way.

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What about patients that don’t book through appthealth?

We know we won’t reach everyone (we expect to book in over 50% of your patient list, automatically). So, we make it easy for your practice team to focus your efforts on the people that we don’t reach. Any patient that can't be reached by SMS (because they don't have a mobile phone number, or the message goes undelivered, or they simply don't reply) will be added to Appt's call list page, where your admin team can systematically work through a list of patients that need the human touch. This way telephone call and recall is manageable and you can be sure that every patient has a meaningful opportunity to book.

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How many patients will book through Appt?

We’ve collected plenty of data while building and (extensively) testing our service. We expect to reach over 80% of the patient list you upload (with some people not having a mobile phone number registered or it fails when we try to contact them) and to book in over 60% of the people we reach.  This means we can realistically expect to book 50% of your eligible patient list in. We will make sure you know who we don’t book in, so that you can focus your time reaching the people that Appt can’t.

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Will someone in the Appt team help me set up?

Absolutely! We make it as easy as possible to yourself up, but there is always a friendly human available at the end of our live chat or email if you need any help. Click get in touch and book a call or send a message – we’d be happy to help. Even better, all our support is free and there are no up-front costs to getting set up.

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What happens if something goes wrong?

If at any point something goes wrong you can contact our friendly human support team at support@appt-health.co.uk. We monitor this email inbox 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (at a minimum) and we promise to get back to you as quickly as possible.

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Can I try the service before I commit?

Yes! We have designed the Appt service to be as flexible as possible. Thanks to our outcomes-based pricing, if you ever think that you are not getting enough value from the service, you can simply stop using it and you will no longer be charged. We also have free booking credit programmes for you to try it out - your first 100 bookings are free, giving you plenty of time to see how usefu Appt's service is.

Pricing FAQs

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Why do you not have a licence fee pricing model like other healthcare IT providers?

We looked around the healthcare market and saw that lots of IT providers were less than transparent about their pricing. GPs might get a free trial, but then they are locked into a long-term contract, often with lots of hidden costs or add-ons.  We don’t think that’s the fair way of doing business, which is why we’ve made our pricing as transparent as possible. appthealth will only charge you when we provide you with something you care about: a booking.  But it is more than just clarity. We think this model is best for GPs because it means that our interests and yours are perfectly aligned: you want high uptake to hit your targets, we want high uptake to get paid for for the service we provide.

If you want more surety about how much you will be billed you can pay for the bookings you plan to use up front - if you do this we will even give you a £0.05 discount per booking (£0.25). Please note that there is a minimum of 1,000 bookings if you choose to pre-pay for bookings. Pre-paid bookings do not expire and you can carry them forward year on year.

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What does the price include?

In a nutshell, we pass on any communications costs at the price we pay for them, for those patients that book and those that don’t (for example we pass on our SMS costs at the very low rate of £0.0165 per fragment) then we charge a £0.30 for any patient we book in. This cost includes all set-up and on-going support costs. That’s because with outcomes-based pricing, it is in our interests to get you up and running as quickly as possible, and to make sure you always have what you need to continue using appthealth’s service.

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How does Appt's outcome-based pricing work?

It is pretty simple; you only pay us for each patient that has been successfully booked in from the list of patients you upload to the Appt portal.

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If a patient is invited but doesn’t book, do I still have to pay?

Nope. We only charge you for any patients we successfully book in. This means that if we invite a patient that doesn’t book in, you won’t be charged. It’s in our interests to make sure that all the patients we invite are aware of and can book in convenient slots, so out interests are aligned. That’s why we’re constantly seeking to improve patient experience.

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Are there any upfront costs?

There are none. Our pricing includes all upfront, set-up and on-going support costs.

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If a patient books using Appt but doesn’t attend the appointment, do I still have to pay?

Yes. With our current integration, it isn’t technically possible for appthealth to know if a patient we booked in, attended their appointment. That means we can’t accurately bill practices based on attendance. We want to make sure that our pricing fully aligns the interests of practices we serve and Appt, which is why we’re working on making this a future part of our service.  For what it is worth, we have evidence that an appointment booked through appthealth is more likely to be attended than an appointment booked through traditional call and recall.

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How much does a support package cost?

£0. Our pricing includes all upfront, set-up and on-going support costs.

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Are there any cancellation costs?

Nope. If you decide you no longer want to use Appt'S service, you can simply stop using the service and we’ll stop charging you (because we will stop booking patients in and we only charge you for successful bookings). You can permanently cancel your account in just a couple of clicks in your account settings when you’re logged in to your management portal.

Privacy FAQs

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Is Appt GDPR compliant?

Yes. The software and databases that makes up Appt's service are all hosted in the UK or EU. In order to be an assured partner of NHS Digital (as we are) a provider must be GDPR compliant.

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Is it safe to share patient data with Appt?

Yes. No system is ever completely safe, but we follow data minimisation practices (only storing the data we legitimately need to run our service, and then only storing it for as long as is required) and we pseudonomise or anonymise personal data to further reduce the risk of sharing unnecessary data with Appt. It is our mission to make sure that any patient data shared with us is as safe as possible.

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Who regulates Appt?

We are regulated by the Information Commissioners Office and by NHS Digital, including the completion of the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit and the requirements set on Appt as part of the assurance process for NHS Digital APIs.

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Why do I need to sign a data processing agreement?

Because you’ll need to share (limited) patient data with appthealth for us to invite and book patients into suitable appointments, it is a legal requirement that there is a data processing agreement between Appt (the “data processor”) and your practice (the “data controller”) that explains what data is being shared and for what purpose. We make sure that this agreement is in place before we set up your account to ensure we’re fully compliant with all relevant regulation.

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Will Appt ever sell on patient data to third-parties?

No. Appt will never sell any patient data on to third-parties. This restriction is clearly stated in the data processing agreement that is put in place with each practice before any data is shared with us.

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What happens to the patient data I’ve shared with appthealth if I cancel my account?

You can permanently cancel your account in just a couple of clicks in your account settings when you’re logged in to your management portal. Patient data will still be kept in an encrypted format for GDPR auditing and reporting requirements including subject access requests.

Can’t find what you are looking for?

If your question isn’t here, or the awnser is not what you were looking for, you are always welcome get in touch and ask us directly.

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