My RFL Care patient portal: Frequently asked questions

Welcome to My RFL Care, your patient portal. Below we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

General information

What is the My RFL Care patient portal?

My RFL Care patient portal is a secure online system that will help you to manage your appointments.

We know that keeping on top of hospital appointments, dates and times, can be difficult. Using the patient portal you can access your Royal Free London out-patient appointment information online, anytime, anywhere.

What can I see on the portal?

You can see all of your out-patient appointments in date order. You can also view and download your appointment letters as PDF files, add appointment information to your digital calendars and get quick directions to our hospitals.

You can also choose to turn off paper appointment letters so you don’t receive them through the post.

Who can use My RFL Care patient portal?

You must be aged 18 and over, and have a new or upcoming appointment with us, to use My RFL Care.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of using My RFL Care, including:

  • You can view your appointment information online, anytime, anywhere.
  • You can review appointments all in one place and reduce confusion about appointment dates and times
  • You have a choice on how you would like to receive information from the hospital
  • Registration is quick, easy and secure – the portal can be accessed using any smartphone, tablet or PC

There are also a number of environmental and economic benefits, including a reduction in the use of paper, print and postage.

We are also working on enabling patients to book, reschedule and cancel their appointments using My RFL Care. This will in turn give you much more control and choice.

Registration

What do I need to register?

To register on My RFL Care patient portal, you need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • have a UK mobile phone number
  • have a working personal email address
  • have an upcoming appointment scheduled with us

Once you’ve registered all you need is an internet connection and a suitable electronic device such as your home computer, tablet or smart phone, eg Apple or Android.

How do I register?

When you are scheduled an appointment, you will be sent a text message inviting you to join the portal (please make sure we have your up to date mobile phone number on our systems). You can then click the link in the text message, which will guide you on how to register.

For a detailed step by step guide, please watch our video here: www.royalfree.nhs.uk/my-rfl-care-patient-portal

Using My RFL Care

How do I login?

To login to My RFL Care, you can either click on the link in the text message you receive or visit here: https://patients.royalfree.nhs.uk/. We recommend you save or bookmark this website address for quick and easy access.

You will also need your email address, password and mobile phone to hand to receive the authentication code.

How do I use the portal?

For a detailed tutorial on how to use My RFL Care, please watch our video here: www.royalfree.nhs.uk/my-rfl-care-patient-portal

Will all my letters be on the patient portal?

If you sign up to the portal as part of our pilot with the renal service, you will only be able to see your renal service appointment letters during the first week.

After the pilot, you’ll be able to see all other upcoming out-patient appointments you have.

Please note, not all letters will be visible on My RFL Care. In- patient and day case treatment letters, copies of clinical letters that have been sent to your GP, and test results will not be included.

How will I know new information is available on the patient portal? We will send you a text message each time you have a new appointment letter, or a change to an existing appointment letter. You can then view the new letter through the patient portal.

When will the appointment management features become available? We’ll be developing My RFL Care in several stages and aim to develop this feature by spring 2021.

How accessible is My RFL Care patient portal?

It’s important to us that My RFL Care meets your needs.

The portal is a ‘web-based’ app. What this means is you will be able to access it using your internet browser (eg Internet Explorer or Google Chrome) from any suitable device, for example a modern smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC.

You will be able to use built-in features on your internet browsers or device, such as the 'pinch and zoom' function to increase text size, screen readers and colour contrast. The portal has also been optimised to work with accessibility apps such as Yello and Voiceover.

Will I still receive letters in the post?

Yes, you will still receive letters about your appointments in the post. However, if you would like to go paperless, you can choose to receive your appointment information online

through the portal. Paper letters will not stop coming right away, but eventually you’ll be able to receive your information paper-free.

You will be asked when you register whether this is something you would be interested in, and you can always opt-out of paper appointment letters later on.

COVID-19 and your appointment information

As part of our response to COVID-19, we are making a number of changes to our out- patient services. Changes will include switching out-patient appointments to a phone or video appointment where appropriate, or where clinical teams feel it is safe to do so, rearranging or cancelling appointments. If this affects you, we will get in touch with you.

For more information about this, please visit: www.royalfree.nhs.uk/news-media/news/temporary-changes-to-out-patient-appointments-at-the-royal-free-london

My appointment has been changed to a phone/video appointment, but the patient portal tells me it is a face-to-face appointment. What should I do?

As part of our response to COVID-19, we are changing many appointments to a phone or video appointment where appropriate. We will contact you to advise you if there is a change to your appointment.

If you have heard from us that your appointment will now take place by phone or video, the appointment letter/details on the patient portal will not be updated to reflect this just yet.

Please be assured, you do not need to attend the hospital for your appointment as it will take place by phone/video.

If you do not hear from us, please visit the hospital as planned for your appointment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was advised that my appointment needed to be rescheduled. I have not heard anything and there is no appointment in the portal. What should I do?

Please be assured, your clinical team will have carefully reviewed your care before arriving at the decision to cancel/rearrange your appointment. We have a list of all patients whose appointment has been cancelled and this tells us if the appointment has been rearranged and we are regularly reviewing this.

We are trying to restart all of our services as quickly as possible in a safe way, and our clinical teams are prioritising patients with the most urgent clinical need.

This may mean you may not receive an appointment just yet, but we will be in touch with you as soon as we are able to reschedule your appointment. When the appointment is scheduled by our teams, this will appear in the patient portal, and you'll get a notification via text message that you have a new letter to view. You can then log in to My RFL Care and view the details.

If you have any concerns relating to your condition or your appointment, please contact your service in the first instance. Their telephone number can be found on your appointment letter and on our website. You can also get in touch with our patient advice and liaison team.

My RFL Care access and security

Who can view my information on My RFL Care?

Only you can access your My RFL Care account. Each time you login, you’ll be asked for your email address, password and will also be taken through an authentication step where a code is sent to your mobile phone number to verify it is you.

Can patients who share an email address sign up?

No. Each patient will need a separate email address. This is to support patient confidentiality.

Can I ask a carer or family member to register on my behalf?

At this time delegated access is not possible. The portal is only available to adult patients (those aged 18 and over).

Is my information secure?

Yes. My RFL Care patient portal uses the same technology that other websites use to gather sensitive information. The padlock on the web browser assures you the site is secure.

Patients are invited to join My RFL Care based on the mobile number associated with their Royal Free London medical record, and if that mobile number is updated, that number will update in My RFL Care as well. To register, patients will be sent a secure link via text message. To log in, patients will use their email address as

their username, and they’ll use both a password and two-factor authentication to access the portal. Login is quick and easy, while ensuring that all patient information is secure.

How do I know that only I can access my information?

Patients can only access their information on their account by using the one-off code sent to their mobile phone at the login stage. We are using the same technology used by high street banks to protect your information.

Your choice

Do I have to sign up to use My RFL Care?

No, this is your choice. All patients aged 18 and over, who have a UK mobile number on our system, will be invited when they have a new upcoming appointment, with the exception of those that have opted out of receiving text messages from the trust.

If you no longer wish to receive invitation text messages, please follow the instructions in the text message.

Can I still register if I initially decline to join the patient portal?

Yes. If you later decide you would like to join the patient portal you can still register by visiting patients.royalfree.nhs.uk/.

Please note you do need to have an upcoming appointment to register.

Can I cancel if I change my mind?

If you register to use My RFL Care, but later change your mind and do not wish to receive further text messages, you can change your preferences from the website menu.

How do I opt out of receiving the text message invitations?

If you would like to stop receiving text messages inviting you to join, please follow the opt- out instructions at the end of the invitation SMS.

Contact information

How do I cancel or change my appointment?

To change or cancel an appointment, please call our out-patient appointment centre on: 020 7443 9757.

It’s not currently possible to do this through My RFL Care, but we will be providing this functionality in the future.

What do I do if I experience technical difficulties with the portal?

If you experience a technical issue using My RFL Care, please refer to the help centre available in the portal in the first instance. This button is available in the top right hand corner in the drop down menu.

If the help centre does not address your question, or you experience a technical problem such as:

  • the website not functioning correctly
  • features not working

please report the problem online at patients.royalfree.nhs.uk/support_requests/new.

Please do not send any personal identifiable information when reporting a technical problem.

Getting involved

How do I get involved?

My RFL Care is a digital tool for our patients; to make sure we get the very best out of the portal, we’re eager for you to be involved.

Please email: rf.patientportal@nhs.net if you are happy to be contacted to provide feedback on the portal and to help us to develop it further.