Unfortunately we see dozens of appointments wasted by patients not turning up each month. If we added up all the appointments that are wasted, we would be able to afford to have an extra GP session!
What happens when patients miss appointments?
We realise that everyone can make mistakes and so we won’t take any action if a single appointment is missed in error. However, we have a minority of patients who miss appointments regularly and this impacts significantly on other patients. We have a policy in place to take action in these circumstances.
If a patient misses an urgent appointment booked the same day, or if a patient misses THREE non-urgent appointments in a 6 month period:
In these instances we send a letter to the patient explaining the problem we have with appointments being missed and the impact that this has on the service we provide to the rest of our 9,300 patients. We list the appointment(s) that were missed and offer the opportunity to discuss if the patient feels this is incorrect. The letter goes on to insist that in the future, they call to let us know if they cannot attend a booked appointment. If patients receive a reminder text, they can simply reply with the word “cancel”. Missed urgent appointments that are on average booked only two hours before the time of the appointment, are particularly frustrating. There is really no excuse for not attending appointments that have been booked on the day by the patient.
If a patient goes on to miss a further appointment within 6 months of the first letter being sent:
They will receive a letter expressing disappointment and notifying them that their continued registration at the practice will be reviewed by the GP partners in the next meeting. They are invited to write or telephone to explain any mitigating circumstances which will be considered.
In cases where no improvement is seen and there are no mitigating circumstances, the practice will request that the patient is removed.