How to promote PATCHS to your patients

Once you've followed these steps in testing PATCHS at your practice, and you're happy for more patients to start using it, you'll need to tell as many patients as possible that it's available.

We have developed guidance and a resource pack, including posters, banners, leaflets, a presentation, scripts for receptionists and copy for bulletins and newsletters, to help communications teams raise awareness to the public and staff.  

If PATCHS is replacing another online communication tool make sure you inform your patients in advance about the change. We recommend at least two weeks in advance as a minimum. You can contact your patients either via your existing system or PATCHS if you are fully set up.

Use multiple channels to promote PATCHS to your patients

Promotion can be a gradual process and promoting PATCHS through multiple channels (e.g. text messages, telephone message, social media etc.) is most effective:

  1. Promote on your practice website. The most important place to promote PATCHS is on your GP practice website with a prominent position for the PATCHS website banner. This is very important because not only does it promote PATCHS but it is also the way patients access PATCHS. You can download the PATCHS banner here. It is vital that you make the messaging as consistent and clear as possible. If you're directing patients to use multiple channels they are likely to get confused, they will contact the practice for help and uptake will be low.
  2. Get every receptionist to encourage patients to use PATCHS every time they speak to a patient. When a patient calls your practice, the idea is to change their behaviour from picking up the phone to submitting a PATCHS request instead. We've written a script that your receptionists can follow when speaking to patients that works well.
  3. Change your telephone message. Whenever a patient calls your practice with a non-emergency request. You can provide them with a phone message that tells them they may get help more quickly by submitting a request via PATCHS. We've written a template message you can use.
  4. Send a bulk message to patients. We've got template messages you could send by email or SMS.
    1. Update! You can now send bulk messages using PATCHS! Click here for instructions on how to do this. 💪 
  5. Advertise in your practice waiting room: You can add PATCHS posters to your practice notice board and a print free-standing sign/banner for your waiting room, as well as play the PATCHS video on your waiting room TV. Printable designs and the video are provided below. 
  6. Tell all new patient registrations. If you have a 'welcome pack' that you give to patients when they first join your practice, you can put some information about PATCHS in there. We have a template you can use. You can also add some of the PATCHS patient information documents below.
  7. Put information on your practice letterhead. You may still send letters to patients, for example when inviting them to chronic disease reviews, and it's effective to mention that they can contact the practice via PATCHS in the letterhead. 
  8. Put messages on your repeat prescriptions. You may still send some patients paper prescriptions and it's effective to mention that they can contact the practice via PATCHS in the letterhead. 
  9. Promote on social media. You can raise awareness of your practice's use of PATCHS by posting about it on your social media pages. We have provided some suggested copy below.
  10. Promote in bulletins and newsletters. Discussing the benefits of PATCHS for your patients can be really important in encouraging engagement. We have provided some suggested copy below.

Patient Information Documents

These documents have been produced to help you advertise PATCHS to your patients.

Please note that some of these files are large because they are high resolution images designed to be printed out, not sent via email.

PATCHS Website Banner: Guidance on adding the PATCHS banner to your website is available here. The files are downloadable: Download Desktop Version | Download Mobile Version

PATCHS Poster: This can be printed and added to noticeboards in the practice waiting room and to a patient welcome pack. There is also a lower resolution version that could be sent via email and/or added to an electronic patient welcome pack. Download Print Version | Download Email Version

PATCHS Leaflet: This can be printed and placed in the practice waiting room and added to a patient welcome pack. Download Print Version

PATCHS Banner: This can be printed as a free-standing banner and placed in the practice waiting room. (This needs to be produced through a printing company, not via a normal desktop printer).  Download Print Version

PATCHS Guide: This document gives more detailed information on how to access PATCHS and find relevant information. This document can be sent to patients via email and/or added to an electronic patient welcome pack. Download File

PATCHS Video: The PATCHS informational video is available to be added to your GP practice website or waiting room TV. Access the file here.

Suggested Copy

We have created template messages to make it easier for you to promote PATCHS to your patients. Feel free to edit them to suit your needs and let us know if you have any suggestions for how they could be improved!

Bulk SMS and Messages: Template messages to bulk send to your patients via email and SMS are available here.

Telephone Message: A template message to add to your telephone system is available here.

Receptionist Scripts: A template script for reception staff to use when talking with patients is available here.

Social Media: 

You can use PATCHS to contact your GP practice for health advice, condition monitoring, repeat prescriptions, fit notes, appointment bookings, and more...

Make requests in your own time, avoid telephone queues and waiting rooms, and getting quick responses. Visit [GP Practice Website] to access PATCHS.

Bulletins & Newsletters: 

PATCHS is the new easy way for you to contact your GP practice online. PATCHS has been designed by GPs to make it easier to contact your practice and save you time.

Just answer a few simple questions and PATCHS gets you the help you need quickly.

You can use PATCHS to contact your GP practice for health advice, condition monitoring, repeat prescriptions, fit notes, appointment bookings, and more...

PATCHS provides lots of benefits including being able to make requests in your own time, avoid telephone queues and waiting rooms, and getting quick responses. PATCHS also helps patients who struggle to contact their GP practice using the telephone or in-person. This includes patients who have hearing or speaking impairments, anxiety, and who speak English as a second language.