To describe the effect of a postal reminder system on UK adult psychiatry clinic attendance. A literature review was completed and a serial cross-sectional survey of patient attendance records in an inner-city psychiatric hospital during 2006 and 2007 was undertaken.
A simple postal prompt reduces non-attendance by up to 50% and data from the serial cross-sectional survey of attendance records (n=36) powered at 77% supported this finding. Postal prompts in the survey accounted for 30% improvement in the variance (r 2 ).
A simple postal prompt that takes less than 30 s to read, sent up to 2 weeks prior to the appointment improves attendance by up to 50% and is useful for maintaining standards of excellence.