WESTBURY GP patients missed over 1,300 appointments between July and November last year and the NHS is urging patients to attend or cancel their appointments after more than 31,000 were missed across the county.
More than 31,000 GP, nurse and healthcare assistant appointments were missed across Wiltshire’s 55 GP practices during the second half of last year – the equivalent of over 1,033 days of general practitioner time.
In Westbury, Wiltshire NHS recorded 1,347 missed appointments at the White Horse Health Centre for July, October and November alone. The clinical commissioning group (CCG) did not have figures for August and September.
Dr Peter Jenkins, chair of Wiltshire CCG said, “We are urging patients to cancel their appointments if they are no longer required, or if they are unable to attend. Practices will then be able to offer these appointments to other patients who need them and will help to reduce waiting times. The number of missed appointments across Wiltshire averages around 6,000 every month, a shocking statistic that is exacerbated during the winter months when practices typically face an increase in patient demand for appointments.”
Known as ‘Did Not Attends’, missed appointments have a huge impact on the health economy, prevent other patients from being seen and waste the time of ever-stretched doctors and nurses. In Wiltshire, this boils down to a potential 6,000 patients missing out on an opportunity to be seen each month.
Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP from Market Lavington Surgery, explains, “On average a GP will conduct 30 appointments per day and based on the total number of missed appointments for July – November 2016, that’s the equivalent of 1,033 days of general practitioner time that has been lost.
“It’s no secret that NHS resources are stretched to the hilt, which is why it’s really important that people understand the impact they have if they simply do not turn up. Everyone has responsibility to look after the NHS – it’s tax payers money after all – and we urge Wiltshire people to cancel their unwanted appointments so that those most in need are able to be seen more quickly”.