Atlantis Medical News

Missed appointments harms NHS

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13 DEC 2018

Even though most people are fully supportive of the NHS, there are things that many people do which harms the NHS. We all know the financial challenges the healthcare organisation faces, and how important it is for the NHS to work more efficiently. Sadly, the NHS is hampered in this aim through the volume of people who fail to attend medical appointments.

A recent evaluation of missed appointments in Gloucestershire revealed that there was a total of 187,000 missed appointments in hospitals and GP surgeries. This equates to 30,000 hours of lost time in the NHS. This is the equivalent of 15 to 20 full-time medical professionals sitting around doing nothing and in Gloucestershire alone, these absences cost £13m each year.

Missed appointments cost the NHS a lot of money

If you were to extrapolate these figures out across the entire country, you would have a huge drain on the resources of the NHS.

Therefore, there has been a launch of The No Show Campaign in Gloucestershire, which aims to encourage patients to cancel an appointment if they are unable to attend.

This sort of campaign needs to be backed by well-known faces to have an impact, so it is good to see television doctor Mark Porter ME giving his backing to the campaign. He said; “We all lead busy lives which don’t always go to plan. As a result, dates in the diary often have to be rearranged but all we ask is that if you need to change or cancel an appointment that you call your GP surgery or the hospital outpatient service, Here at Culverhay, like GP practices everywhere, our appointment slots are in demand and by simply not turning up, you are making it harder for someone else in need to be seen.”

There is widespread support for this campaign

A Medical Director, Dr Sean Elyan, of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, also spoke at the launch of the campaign. He said; “When people fail to turn up, it is a lost opportunity for another patient to be seen in a more timely way. If we could reduce the number of missed appointments, we would be able to treat many more patients a year. Through improvements to our switchboard and booking office, we have made it easier for patients to get in touch and change or cancel their appointments.”

The Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour, also spoke about the situation, saying; “There is a high demand for appointments and we can all play our own part to ease pressures on our health services by remembering to cancel the appointments we cannot make to ensure people are seen as quickly as possible.”.

At Atlantis Medical, we understand the level of planning that goes into scheduling a day’s work in hospitals and GP surgeries. When people don’t attend, a lot of time and money is being wasted, something which the NHS cannot afford to do. Therefore, with so many people saying they fully support the NHS, it is crucial that patients attend when they can and if they cannot attend, to give fair notice.


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