Missed Appointments for August 2018
A total of 113 appointments were missed last month, equalling almost 24 hours of wasted time for our GPs, paramedics and nurses. The effect of this is:
- an increase in the waiting time for appointments
- frustration for both patients and staff, and;
- a waste of resources.
If you are unable to make an appointment, please let us know as early as possible. Repeat offenders will be subject to our 'Did Not Attend' policy, which is detailed below.
Anyone can make a mistake and we do understand that some patients cannot help forgetting an appointment. However, despite the successful introduction of our text messaging and reminder service, far too many patients continue to miss appointments and valuable time is wasted - we call missed appointments DNAs (Did Not Attend). This is frustrating for the practice as we receive a vast amount of complaints and negative comments from your patients saying we do not offer enough appointments or we do not have enough staff to cope with demand.
Repeated DNAs are antisocial behaviour - they disadvantage other patients who may urgently need to be seen. We are not allowed to name, shame or fine offenders but our Patient Participation Group fully supports a policy of warning inconsiderate patients, and deregistering the few who continue to ignore the letters we send to them asking them to cancel appointments they cannot make.
It's also your responsibility to arrive in good time for your appointment. Traffic may be heavy, the car park may be full, Reception may have a queue - you need to factor this in to your travelling time to ensure you have checked in before your appointment is due. If you check in late for your appointment, you have missed it! Time isn't elastic, and accommodating your late arrival means other patients will be delayed because of you.
The NHS is under intense demand and pressure; please help us to help you!
Patient 'Did Not Attend' (DNA) Policy
A large number of appointments each month are wasted due to cancelling too close to the appointment time or due to 'Did Not Attend' (DNA), i.e. the patient does not turn up for the appointment and does not contact the surgery in advance to cancel/change appointment. The effects of these are:
- an increase in the waiting time for appointments;
- frustration for both staff and patients;
- a waste of resources;
- a potential risk to the health of the patient.
Appointments that are cancelled within 1 hours or less of the scheduled time will be classed as a DNA and recorded in the clinical system.
If a patient fails to cancel a pre-booked appointment as above, or fails to attend, on at least three occasions in the last 6 months, a first warning letter will be sent to the patient, advising them of the disruption and effect on patients and staff. This is sent with approval of the patient's named GP.
If the patient again fails to cancel a pre-booked appointment as above, or fails to attend, a second warning letter will be sent. This is also sent with approval of the patient's named GP.
If the patient fails to cancel a pre-booked appointment as above, or fails to attend, after receiving a second warning letter, the matter will be discussed at a practice meeting and a majority agreement will be reached as to whether the patient will be removed from the practice list, or allowed to remain with possible restrictions on booking appointments. In either case, a third and final warning letter will be issued.
Warning letters are valid for a period of 12 months. Removal based on warnings greater than 12 months old will be invalid - in this case a further formal warning and period of grace will be required.