Missed GP appointments total three years of wasted time
More than 150,000 appointments were missed across Lincolnshire’s GP surgeries last year – prompting one doctor to urge patients to take responsibility for the NHS.
Figures have revealed appointments were missed more than 150,000 times last year. This is equivalent to one GP wasting about three years waiting for patients who never turned up.
Vital for survival
Now, Dr Radi Sultan, GP partner at Ingham Practice – which is part of Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group – has said that sticking to booked appointments is vital for the survival of the NHS.
He said: “Unfortunately we see a significant amount of missed appointments. In the last two quarters, we alone have had 91 missed doctors’ appointments and 165 missed nurse appointments.
“The total doesn’t surprise me because when you look at our figures, we are a small practice in Lincolnshire, and the small figures add up.
“Patients not attending means patients who need appointments cannot be offered appointments.
“The NHS despite the pressures that it is facing is in good health but it is important that we work collectively with our patients to ensure that it is maintained and that it is sustained and that it is managed most effectively.
“This includes, perhaps most importantly, time management.”
Dr Sultan said that missed appointments are not just an issue for GP surgeries.
He said: “We get letters from hospitals informing us of patients missing hospital appointments. This is at a time when hospital services are under significant pressure and that has a serious impact.
“There can be long waiting times.
“Time is one of the most valuable assets to me, to my practice and to the NHS and even to our patients.
“Every appointment that is missed means that somebody else who needs it didn’t get it.
“Educating the public about the importance of attending their appointments is important. So is explaining the impact of missed appointments on services and the impact it has on other patients.
“The important thing is for patients to take responsibility for the NHS and take care of it.”