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SMS for Outpatients Departments
SMS for Outpatients Departments

Step by step guide on how to use the SMS Portal

Laura Perring avatar
Written by Laura Perring
Updated over a week ago

eConsult supports a number of Outpatient departments as a specialist history take, triage and remote consultation platform. Clinically designed question sets, are sent to the patient before their outpatient appointment saving the patient and Department time. If you are interested in learning more contact us via

This article covers:

SMS Account Access

The eConsult Support Team manage the creation of the accounts and these can be requested by emailing Once created you will get confirmation the account has been set up and to access you can head over to the eConsult SMS portal login.

The following guide will explain how you are able to send individual and batch SMS messages, create templates and upload contacts within the SMS solution.

Creating a template

To set up message templates so that you can quickly send out a message to your patients, press on the Settings icon in the top right hand corner.

Once you have pressed on the Add Template button, enter a helpful name for your template so that you can easily identify it - this helps to ensure the correct message is sent to the intended patients! e.g. {{Outpatient Department}{Date}}

Then you can begin to build your message!

The template can be up to 612 characters long - if you choose to include personalised fields then factor in the potential length of the recipients name/NHS Number in the character count. There is a helpful character counter at the bottom of the Message box! The personalised fields can be uploaded when you are creating contacts for a Batch SMS.

Once saved you will be able to see the template in the dashboard,.Click here to find out how to send.

Uploading contacts

If you are sending a Batch SMS you will need to upload the contacts in a .csv file onto the portal.

First, head to the Contacts tab on your portal and press + Add Contacts. Next, press Add a new group - this will allow you to create a group of contacts to send an SMS too. Once a group has been created you can then select them from the drop down list when sending an SMS from the Send tab and these can be used again in the future!

Adding a New Group:

To Add a new group enter in the following:

  1. Group Name - what you want to call the group of contacts to ensure the correct message is sent to them.

  2. From - the SMS Sender ID (i.e. the name) that the text will come from. e.g NHSNoReply

  3. Description - a short, helpful description about the group (this is for internal use only).

You will not need to use the Advanced options.

Next, select the upload the CSV option and then select the CSV file from your computer with the patients you need to contact. Please also ensure that this file does not have any headers for the columns, as these will be added in the Match Columns step. If the file does have headers i.e. first name, please remove these and save the file, then upload.

We recommend that you do not tick the Auto-update your existing contacts? button. Ticking this button will update all fields for an existing mobile number with your new data - this includes removing information already associated with a contact in your account. As a result, any previous contact lists could be amended and therefore will not be as you configured them.

You will then need to tick that you have the permission to contact these individuals and then press Next Step.

A Match Columns box will appear to give you a chance to review the data and confirm that your data is under the appropriate column headings.

Once you are happy click Upload Contacts!

Sending individual SMS

On the SMS Portal Send tab, you will be able to swap between group and individual messages.

For individual messages enter in the correct mobile number and then select the template you wish to use, or type the message directly into the box.

Please note that if your message template has personalised fields like first name included, these will not be filled in for single SMS fields and should be removed.

Once you are ready to send, press Send Now or Schedule for later. You will then be asked to confirm the amount of credits used, and you can then proceed to send your message by pressing the pink Send Now button on the pop up, or you can cancel to go back to the Send page. You will then be able to see this message on Messages tab in the portal!

Sending Batch SMS

In order to send a Batch SMS message you will need to be on the Send tab. Select the group of contacts you want to send the message to.

Make sure that the correct group is selected - if you are unsure please check the group before sending.

The From field will be auto populated by default with NHSNoReply - should you wish to use a different sender ID then it must be between 3-11 characters long.

In the Message box, select your template from the drop down list. If you haven’t set up a template yet, please head to this guide here! Please ensure you select the correct template so the correct information is sent to the intended patient group.

Once you are happy with your message, press Send Now or Schedule for later.

You will then be asked to confirm the amount of credits used, and you can then proceed to send your message by pressing the pink Send Now button on the pop up, or you can cancel to go back to the Send page.


Does the portal provide a delivery report?

Yes, simply head over to the Messages tab where you then select on View to see the Message Report for a specific SMS.

How do I change a questionnaire URL link within a template?

Simply head over to the 'Templates' section in 'My Settings'. Click on 'Edit' for the template you need to modify the URL link. Scroll down to the message section, and this is where you can replace the existing URL link with the new one.

It appears that our account has 0 credits. How can we add more?

To add credits to your account, please contact the eConsult Support Team via

What is the password for my SMS account?

Your eConsult lead for the specialty would have created the password for your account. We recommend liaising with them directly. Alternatively, if needed, you can head over to 'Forgot my Password,' where you will receive a link to change your password.

Need any help? Get in touch with the eConsult Support Team via live chat on our website or by email at

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