Email Delivery of Appointment Letters - Frequently Asked Questions

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals can now send electronic letters to you via email.


September 2022 update – Passcode change

From 19 September 2022 all letters sent to you by email after opting-in will be protected with the same 4-digit passcode for each individual patient. The change has been made to make it easier for patients to access and print letters sent by email.

This code will still be texted to you each time we send you a letter by email. If the code has not been texted, please try the code from any letter sent to you after 19 September 2022. This code is generated at random and cannot be changed by patients or Trust staff.

Letters sent before this date will be encrypted with the same random 4-digit passcode that was previously texted to you.

What are the benefits for me?

Choosing to receive appointment letters from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals by email has a number of benefits: 

Receive your letters immediately with no delays

A safe and secure format accessed using a passcode

An  accessible format that can be translated and read out loud

Access your letter electronically whenever you need it

No risk of losing a paper letter

Signing up will also help us save paper and reduce our impact on the environment.


What do I need to do to receive letters electronically?

We need a valid email address and mobile phone number stored in your record to send letters via email. For security we will also ask you to validate your contact details.

When next in contact with Sheffield Teaching Hospital about an appointment please provide us with your email address and mobile phone number so we can send you the validation request.


How do I validate my contact details and opt in?

If we have an email address and mobile phone number in your records, the next time we need to send you a letter you will receive an email and a text message asking you to verify your contact details.

- The email will contain a link to validate your contact details, or to opt-out of receiving letters electronically.

- The text message will contain a four-digit passcode which you will need to complete the validation process.

Select the link in the email and follow the steps to validate your details. Enter the four-digit passcode we’ve texted you when prompted.

Once complete we will confirm your contact details have been validated and you can access an electronic copy of your letter. You will also receive a paper copy of your letter. This means you’ll always find out about your appointment or admission when we validate your contact details.


What happens after I opt in?

After opting in we will send all future letters to you electronically, with no further need to validate your details. All letters will be sent via a secure link in an email accessed using a passcode texted to your mobile phone. You will not receive letters in the post.


Can I opt out of receiving appointment letters via email?

Yes. Please select the opt-out link in the validation email we have sent you. We will then continue to send all your letters in the post.

If you change your mind and want to opt in, please contact us and we can update your communication preferences.


What happens if I can’t validate my email, or can’t access my letter using the link?

Please call the phone number in your email and/or text message if you can’t access your letter or have problems validating your email address.  This phone number is for the department who are trying to validate your contact details.

If you don’t get your email it’s likely we have an old email address stored for you. Please phone us using the number provided to update your details.

Your device may download a copy of your letter when you select the link. If the letter doesn’t open after clicking the link please check your download folder.

Please retain the passcode we have texted you. This code will be needed to open the letter in the future.

What if I don’t respond to the validation request?

The link to validate your details is valid for seven days.  After that it will not work. If you don’t respond you will continue to receive letters in the post.  

You will continue to receive validation requests until you opt in or out.

A member of our staff may also contact you to check your communication preferences.


What if I don’t have an email address and/or mobile phone?

If we don’t have an email address or mobile phone number for you, or the email address/mobile number is invalid, you will continue to receive letters in the post.



Answers to some common queries:

If you haven’t received the passcode texted to you. Try the last passcode texted to you, this will be the same one to access your letter.
If the passcode doesn’t work. Try re-entering the 4-digit passcode.
My PDF reader is prompting me for a password. Enter the 4-digit passcode texted to you – some PDF readers refer to the encryption as a password.
What if my passcode still isn’t working? Contact us using the telephone number provided in the email and text we have sent you – the team should be able to relay the passcode over to you.
What if I want to print my letter? You can print your letter – enter the passcode when prompted to print the letter.
What can I do if I still can’t access my letters? If you cannot access your letters sent by email contact us using the number on the text or email we have sent you. The team can request your letters to be sent by post only.



Additional Information

Troubleshooting - answers to some common queries about accessing electronic patient letters are at the bottom of this page.

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