PS2million a year wasted by patients who fail to show up at GP surgery.
Byline: CLAIRE HARRISON News Reporter
MORE than PS2m a year and thousands of hours of precious GP time is wasted by patients who fail to show up for doctors' appointments. Alarming NHS statistics have revealed the eye-watering cost of people failing to turn up for appointments at doctors surgeries across Coventry and Warwickshire. Figures, which are based on latest NHS Digital GP appointments data, show that there are a grand total of 3.9 million general practice appointments available across the region.
Of those, 78,000 are missed without prior warning and each appointment costs an average of PS30.
This means that a grand total of PS2.34m is wasted on missed appointments on top of the disruption for staff and fellow patients Medics say it is vital that patients let NHS know if they cannot attend an appointment.
Dr Francis Campbell, Deputy Medical Director at NHS England West Midlands, said: "We know that timely access to general practice appointments are a priority for the public, which is why we are growing the workforce and offering extended access.
"The NHS long term plan will set out how we build on this progress, but patients can do their part by letting their practice know as soon as possible if they can't make their slot - freeing up doctors, nurses and other professionals to see others.
"This is particularly important as we go in to winter."
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, added: "When patients miss appointments it can be a frustrating waste of resources for GPs and our teams, but also for other patients who are struggling to secure an appointment for themselves.
"There may be many reasons why a patient might miss an appointment, and in some cases it can be an indication that something serious is going on for that individual - but we would urge patients to let us know if they can't attend as soon as possible, so that we can offer that time to someone else who really needs it.
"To this end, practices are using electronic methods, such as SMS reminders, to encourage patients to keep their appointments, or cancel them in a timely manner."