In February 2020 a total of 199 patients did not attend their appointment.

 

Patients urged to cancel appointments rather than just not show up.

 

More than 15 million general practice appointments are being wasted each year because patients do not turn up and fail to warn surgeries that they will not be attending.

There are around 307 million sessions scheduled with GPs, nurses, therapists and other practice staff every year and 5% – one in twenty – are missed without enough notice to invite other patients. That works out as around 15.4 million missed slots.

Of these, around 7.2million are with busy family doctors, which adds up to more than 1.2 million GP hours wasted each year – the equivalent of over 600 GPs working full time for a year.

Each appointment costs an average of £30, putting the total cost to the NHS at more than £216million pounds on top of the disruption for staff and fellow patients that would pay for:

  • The annual salary of 2,325 full time GPs
  • 224, 640 cataract operations
  • 58,320 hip replacement operations
  • 216,000 drug treatment courses for Alzheimer’s
  • The annual salary of 8, 424 full time community nurses

NHS England is ramping up access to GPs and other health professionals by recruiting thousands of new practice staff and appointments are now available in the evening and at weekdays right across the country.

However, patients can do their bit by making a New Year’s resolution to let the NHS know if they cannot attend an appointment.