Missed GP appointments cost NHS £216m

Missed GP appointments that aren’t cancelled by patients cost the health service £216m every year, according to new research

NHS England data shows that missed GP appointments are costing the NHS £216m per year, according to a BBC report.

These missed appointments waste over 15 million potential consultations (at an average cost of £30 per appointment) – this amounts to more than 1.2 million hours.

NHS England is reminding the UK that taking the time to cancel appointments frees up healthcare professionals to see others who need the care.

The British Medical Association is also urging patients to “play their part” in supporting GPs in meeting demand.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and acting director of primary care for NHS England added that £216m could fund around 58,000 hip operations or 220,000 cataract operations.

She told the BBC: “When a patient misses an appointment, my first instinct is to worry. I worry why that person has missed that appointment but then I can’t use that time for somebody else.

“So I’ll check up on the patient but I’m not able to get anyone else in.”

She added: “Our message is clear: if you cannot make it to your appointment or no longer need a consultation, please let your GP practice know in advance.”

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, commented: “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.”

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