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Last week at my doctor's surgery ...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by tartetatin, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    ... a total of 80 people failed to turn up for appointments and didn't notify the surgery.
    I saw this displayed on the waiting room wall when I was there this morning with my baby .
    That's 16 appointments a day that could have been offered to someone else (like tartette, when we waited 1 1/2 hours this morning to be seen in open surgery [​IMG]).
    My surgery is located in a deprived area of Edinburgh but still, surely a wee phone call isn't too much to ask ...
    I was quite shocked by this statistic. It must put a huge amount of unnecessary pressure and expense on the NHS.
    What do think could be done about it?
     
  2. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    sorry, what do *you* think ...
     
  3. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    I should also add that these missed appointments were for the GPs only. There were additional 'no shows' for the practice nurse.
     
  4. We have something similar at our surgery, only it displays monthly figures for appointments missed, and prescriptions ordered and not collected.
    The figures are actually quite shocking, with missed appointments reaching over 400 sometimes.
    I don't know what the answer is. Sometimes I think it may be down to the fact that appointments have to be made quite a bit in advance. Maybe some people have a problem, but by the time the appointment comes round, maybe 2 weeks later, they feel better and don't need to see the doctor anymore :/
     
  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I wonder if appointments are only available a number of days ahead so by the time the date comes round the problem has gone away or been dealt with elsewhere eg at the chemists. Then people forget to cancel - which tbh I can imagine myself doing. At my surgery there are always several docs and appointments are nearly always within 48hours which is great. I live in a pleasant area and I suppose doctors like to work here whereas in a tougher area it might be harder to recruit docs into a practice. I'm so ignorant I have no idea how these things work but know I get a good service
     
  6. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. Interesting. The strange thing is though that at my surgery, you book your appointment on the day you want it. The receptionists are fairly dragon like (although I reckon they'd have to be!) and don't bend on this, so I'd imagine that only follow-up appointments can be booked in advance.
     
  7. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    I must admit that I can't imagine not letting the surgery know. Not that I'm perfect, it's just that I'm hardly ever there. Proper hard, me. [​IMG]
     
  8. I have actually suggested to our practice that they keep records of which patients fail to keep appointments and after three 'strikes' they are banned from the appointments system (for a certain length of time) and have to sit it out in open surgery when they want to see a doctor. Admittedly this was after I had to see the after hours doctor because I couldn't get an appointment less than ten days in advance! I got a boilerplate response thanking me for my input, and I presume that they wouldn't be able to implement such a system but I do think that people who don't keep their appointments should be ashamed of themselves!
     
  9. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    agreed!
     
  10. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    My dad was annoyed at this recently at the hospital he has to attend for regular tests.
    At the end of November, he had the tests and told the hospital that if there was any follow up appointment necessary then would need an appointment from the beginning of February as he was out of the country until the end of Jan.
    When he returned, he had a letter telling him he had an appointment at the beginning of January, then had a very curt letter reprimanding him for failing to attend the follow-up appointment!
    So he will have, wrongly, been one of the statistics shown in the waiting room in the hospital!
     
  11. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    Here in Sweden they charge for appointments whether you turn up or not unless you give 24 hours notice
     
  12. It's so hard getting an appointment in my surgery. All they've done is stick up a poster saying "due to the large number of DNA's please inform the surgery if you can't attend your appointment". I think they should print some statistics too! And also explain that DNA also means Did Not Attend.

    I used to work as a medical receptionist for a hospital departtment and was shockled at how many people just wouldn't hsow up. And this was for clinics with very long waiting lists, plus appointments got sent out ages in advance. We had a very strict "one strike policy" which I felt was wrong as a)patients weren;t made aware of it and b) staff were very reluctant to change appointments to more suitable times.

    I keep getting sent feedback questionaires for my surgery and I don;t know what they're doing baout the results because each time there's a section on extending opening hours and I would have thought more people would want that!
     
  13. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Oh your poor dad, PG, that wasn't even his fault!
    Tigger, my NHS dentist has recently started doing the same thing.
     
  14. jonkers

    jonkers New commenter

    Our dentist (NHS) charges if you don't turn up and takes the view that he is happy for you to take your custom elsewhere if you don't like it!
     
  15. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Our surgery display them too - I was last there about four weeks ago for a blood test and it said that there were over 150 no shows in 2 weeks (we've recently had a walk-in centre opened so I think people have just been going there and not showing up for their appointments). I'm uber organised and keep a very detailed diary (because I'd forget everything if I didn't) so I can't imagine not phoning to cancel.
    I also used to work in a pharmacy and used I've seen a lot of waste of things like patient drugs - I remember once sorting through bags of returned medicines. Medicines being returned by the patient's family after they had passed away, for example, only to look through the bags and see that they had six months worth of drugs that had never even been out of the box that we then had to dispose of - you can't put it back on the shelf when it's been out of the pharmacy. That loses the NHS some money, I can tell you.
     
  16. I reckon they fib and inflate the figures a little bit to 'shock' us all into making sure we cancel appointments properly etc.
     
  17. My dentist chase chase chase to remind you you've got an appointment booked - automated text at the start of the week it's booked in on, then a phonecall the day before to remind you - there's no escape (and I have a very severe phobia of dentists - not a general dislike but a genuine will suffer years of pain phobia I'm trying to work through - so I'd quite like the escaping option sometimes)!
     
  18. I have, twice and I honestly did just forget [​IMG] It was an early morning appointment and by the time I remembered the rush hour traffic was so bad I wouldn't have made it in time, I did ring but that was actually when the appointment was. I agree there's no excuse for it but it does happen, especially if people are feeling poorly and I think some flexibility is needed.
     
  19. The discussion of failed to attend doctors appointments is a common way of subjugating patients into thinking the doctors are the overloards, and you are a serf.
    If they ran realistic booking facilities, you could get an appointment when you needed it, but they system is skewed toward the comfort of the surgery and times doctors work, or want to work. But wasted appointments can mean wasted revenue for them, so of course they don't like it.
    Why not put doctor appointments on line, not difficult one would posit? That won't happen because they want control over their time, revenue and other occupations that they do outside their fairly measly duties in the surgery, these days. They are hardly doctors at all, in my opinion.
     
  20. Yes, we are charged in Germany too if we do not turn up and haven't given 24 hours notice (for prearranged appts. of course).
     

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