Sat, 09 Apr 2016
IN JUST three months, more than 300 patients failed to turn up for appointments at Hungerford Surgery last year.
The “appalling” figures have been collated by the Hungerford Patient Participation Group (PPG) and, if extrapolated throughout 2015, would represent 1,200 no-shows.
PPG member Jenny Booth said: “I am sure Hungerford residents will all be appalled to hear how many people fail to turn up for their appointments at Hungerford Surgery.
“In December alone last year, 84 patients failed to arrive for their appointment.
“This means an appointment slot has been lost that another patient, possibly requiring urgent treatment, could have taken.”
She added: “We urge everyone to contact the surgery as soon as they know they will not be attending.
“Please be considerate and allow someone else have the appointment.”
In 2005 a report by the Developing Patient Partnerships organisation revealed that missed GP surgery appointments were costing the NHS at least £180m each year, according to a survey of doctors.
The report found that forgetfulness was given as the main reason, with 70 per cent of GPs who responded claiming they would consider removing persistent offenders from their lists.
Most of the 683 surgeries surveyed said patients should be charged for missing an appointment.
The Hungerford Surgery, at The Croft, currently does not charge for non attendance, although some others do so and even strike off patients who fail to attend three appointments.
The chairman of Hungerford Surgery PPG, David Piper, said: “Email reminders are helping and patients who do not have this facility are being written to.”
The PPG would be interested to hear suggestions as to how to tackle this problem.
Ms Booth said: “Maybe before moving to Hungerford you were a patient elsewhere and your surgery had a ‘did not attend’ policy and managed to solve it successfully?
“If so, please share that information with us.”
Suggestions can be sent via email to Mr Piper at chairhungerfordppg@gmail. com or by telephoning (01488) 683152.