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Surgery reports hundreds of missed appointments

'People will be appalled'

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886628

stethascope

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.

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Article comments

  • CatherineBarber

    16/05/2017 - 10:10

    These inconsiderate and mindless people who don't bother to cancel an unwanted appointment should be: Charged the first and perhaps the second time. Then struck off if they do this a third time. The Charge should be heavy enough to make one reconsider their selfish behaviour. If they refuse to pay up then warn them they will be struck off. And - if they still persist in either refusing to pay up, or failing to cancel unwanted appointments - they should be struck off after the third time. And - when one says 'struck off', PLEASE actually put this into action - and instantly. DON'T just let it stay as vague 'threats'. This sort of selfish attitude should NOT be allowed to carry on destroying the chance for a needy person to get an appointment quickly. This attitude has been allowed to go on for too long, and those sorts of people think they can get away with it.

    Reply

    • CatherineBarber

      16/05/2017 - 12:12

      Apologies for double-posting. Please could my first post be DELETED, and my second post be posted up instead.

      Reply