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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Does your surgery send B12 jab reminder texts/letters? Should they?

If you've seen my other post, you'll know I missed my last B12 jab due to having a lot on and time whizzing by. When I saw a nurse today for a jab, he was concerned about how overdue I am and suggested I write and ask the practice to introduce text reminders. Made me wonder if this was something that other practices do and if not if you feel it would be helpful for you.

Update: my surgery sends text reminders about appointments already booked so this is specifically about whether your surgery nudges you *to make an appointment* for B12,

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The surgery I attend sends a text message reminding patients of every appointment made 24 hrs in advance, that is to those who have supplied their mobile number. It does not of course mention what the appointment is for but at least reminds people they have an appointment. Also as I am on the Patients Access system I am able to transfer to my calendar any appointments made also. Therefore I get two reminders which I find very useful as memory not good. Check if your surgery has any facilities for this as is very useful.

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Same for me. I get a text the day before appointments with the health centre and a week before hospital appointments.

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I'm not sure I was clear that the idea is for the reminder to be specifically to say that B12 is due and to make an appointment for the jab, not a reminder about an appointment already made. I can't make an appointment 10 weeks in advance - they release appointments nearer the time – so can't rebook when I leave the surgery.

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Oh I see, I usually see a nurse or assistant for B12 and nurse for diabetes check up and the nurse always makes my next aappointment at that time. If you have to see a doctor that may explain why you have to remember to make an appointment. The clinic I attend is very busy so for doctors there is always a wait but the nurses are very competent with other matters. If you have a calendar can you set up reminders on that. I use an ipad and I can do that and have a repeat function, so it depends on what you have or use. Remembering for long term appointments is very difficult when you consider that memory is one of our problems so I know I am lucky in that respect. They obviously dont remind to make an appointment, not sure if they would have the capacity or facilities to do that. Hope you can sort something suitable out for yourself. Good luck xx

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Thanks! :)

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Hi smish. Our surgery sends out text reminders if you have a pre-booked appointment...but the system does not have the functionality to send out reminders to actually book one. And I agree with Soulsister ....even if they had a text reminder service, this would only work for pre-booked appointment.

Like you, when I have a jab they are never able to to make the next appointment (they don't open appointments that far in advance)...so I've set up repeat reminders on my iphone (and iPad), one three weeks prior to when the jab is due to tell me to ring and make the appointment and another (in capitals) that tells me the date I should have the injection (a fail safe in case I forget to act on the reminder!).

Don't do paper stuff, but if I did, I'd write down too 😐.

Pleased you've had your jab and hope you make it through the ten weeks. Excellent that your nurse was concerned about the gap...perhaps if you find it tough making the stretch, you could make an appointment with that nurse and ask them to pop an extra jab in early to get you back on track.

Good luck

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I have calendar reminders, too, but amongst all my work and house move stuff I missed it somehow. First time in 7 years or something, though. The nurse's point was that reminders are sent to women for smear tests, for example, but not for B12. He thought the practice could take some responsibility for helping us manage our condition, I guess.

I used to be able to book 12 weeks in advance for a B12 jab but when I moved to 10 weeks that wasn't possible any more. Then the practice changed things so that it feels like pot luck whether I'll be told I need to call back because I'm trying to book too early or too late and I end up not being able to book until a week after I'm due. I'm almost continually in meetings at work and don't take proper lunch breaks so making multiple calls to get the appointment booked is definitely contributing to me running behind.

This kind of booking system isn't geared up to managing a long-term condition, it's all about filtering out "time wasters", i.e. people who make an appointment when they feel sick and then don't cancel when they feel better.

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Yep...agree that booking systems and text messages are about managing missed appointment. And making an appointment is a nightmare for me to (always engaged).

Have you thought about asking the nurse to teach you to do your own injections...GP could then prescribe B12 and you do your own jabs without having to book and traipse up to the surgery. Some GPs have no,problems with this - some do 🤨. But certainly worth asking.

👍

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Funnily enough, I hadn't realised until I used this forum yesterday that this was an option. I mentioned it to the nurse today and he didn't seem to think it was realistic... I'd be really interested to find out - it'd be soooo much easier from a practical point of view. I'd need to woman up, of course!

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When I had my B12 injection yesterday, the nurse booked my next one in 3 months before I left the room.

I'm the same as everyone else, text reminder 24hrs before the appointment, just generic reminder.

Because I missplace stuff on a regular basis, I just put it straight in my phone calender with date & time before I leave the surgery as "B12" with date & time or I wouldn't have a clue!

Not sure if you can have it stating it's for your B12 unless you ask the GP surgery.

I also have

"Google home" that syncs with my phone calender for reminders, I believe Alexa does the same?? Without the above, I would definitely forget appointments

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I didn't miss an appointment, I missed making an appointment because I hadn't realised how much time had passed. Also missed my cats booster jabs and check-up.

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I've also got all the tech helping me remember the date and any appointments I book. This is more about whether or not the surgery takes any ownership of chasing you up if any of us loses track.

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Hi @smish Yes, I get a text reminder of an appointment but as others have said the surgery will need your 'phone number and it may pay you to join "Patient Access" if you can on which you can monitor or even make doctor appointments, order repeat prescriptions etc.

I wish you well

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Makes me realise how fab my surgery is! Their system isn't usually able to make my 8-weekly appointment, but if I have ever forgotten to phone in nearer the time, the surgery calls me a week or so in advance to book my appointment. I get a text reminder of pre-booked appointments too; one a week before, and one 24 hours before.

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That's the kind of system the nurse was suggesting, I think. Brilliant!

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The surgery I work at send text reminders for all appointments. Trouble is people don't update their numbers with us x

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I am given a reminder slip of when my next jab is due and I have to make the appointment a week before. I set alerts on my phone to remind me to call otherwise I would forget, then as others have said I get a reminder text a couple of days before.

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Don’t start me on the subject of appointments!

My surgery does not remind me by text about nurse-administered B12 appointments. Since I missed two quarterly B12s over an eight month period last year, they have begun to remind me by phone. I take some responsibility for not booking these appointments, but then, there was no out of hours (before 7.30am and after 6pm) service and no nurse appointments after 5pm. I work 7.45-4.30 and live too far away to make it in time for nurse appointments. Further, my employer will not give me time off for such routine appointments and (breathlessly), nurse appointments cannot be made more than a month in advance meaning I have to set reminders (I have one today) on my phone to book my appointment for a month’s time, in which time I can book an appointment. This limitation is even stricter on the patient access website where putatively, appointments can also be made. So I will ring up today and ask for a nurse appointment on the 22nd February, for after 5pm: they will say there are none, so I will ask for an out of hours appointment at another practice (they’ve started doing these in the last six months) which could be miles away from my home. I will then probably get a frantic call from my surgery a week before the actual appointment reminding me to book my B12 appointment! I will politely guide them through their booking system until they find the out of hours appointment for which they’ve not searched.

And they wonder why I told them I was thinking of self-medicating? Oh and I received no support for that despite their tacit partial admission of responsibility for my inability to get appointments to be injected. My attempts to get their support is another longer story.

I am now self-injecting once monthly and despite some damage, probably permanent, from my missed injections, I feel much better in all regards.

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This is awful. Sorry to hear this. Sounds like self-injecting is really the only safe route in these circumstances.

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I don’t need a reminder for my jab I feel the symptoms in my body so I know it’s due.

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Hi Bevvy32. Sorry to hear that. I also used to feel rough before my jab but then I moved to an 8 week cycle for a couple of years and I'm now on 10 weeks and I'm symptom free (until I mess up like this time around!). Have you already tried to increase the frequency of your jabs so that you're symptom free, too?

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I have mine every 6 weeks but after 5 weeks I can feel it fatigue, confusion, forgetting, crying at anything. I then know my jab is due

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You poor thing. That's not fair. Is there no chance you could get them more frequently to avoid this unnecessary distress? Having problems getting your GP to do that?

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I just had last loading injection i asked nurse do i get reminder for 3 month injection, she said yes ill set it up on system, so i think you need to ask them to do so, if this helps

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They used to do this for me but don't any more. I think the nurses also can't make appointments until nearer the time, when the slots are 'released'. It's bad for us PAers.

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Mine doesn't. I've to remember and if we miss a dose I don't think they'd be bothered at all.

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We're bothered, shaws. Sorry to hear that. Good luck with it.

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