Missed appointments with GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals cost the Fylde coast NHS up to £250,000 last month.
There were 6,893 occasions where people didn’t turn up to their appointment across the region’s 36 practices in December 2017. A missed GP appointment costs on average £36, meaning missed appointments last month could have cost almost £250,000.
At current costs, £250,000 could fund:
- 12 nurses, or
- 29 heart bypasses, or
- 45 hip replacements.
The missed appointments also amounted to 1,149 hours of wasted time.
Following the release of this statistic, GPs across the Fylde coast have called on people across the area to cancel any appointments they do not wish to attend.
Dr John Calvert, a GP at Waterloo Medical Centre and member of NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) Governing Body, said: “We know that in this modern age people lead very busy lives and sometimes forget about appointments.
“But missed appointments in general practice cost a great deal of time and money at a time when we are desperately short of both.
“And for those patients who do have an appointment booked that they do not need, someone else could make use of that appointment rather than having to wait.
“All we ask is that if you have an appointment booked and for whatever reason you no longer need it or you can’t make it, please call and let us know so we can give that appointment to somebody else.”
Dr Tony Naughton, from The Thornton Practice, who is clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “What is particularly worrying about these figures is that they are from a month when a lot of practices saw a reduction in DNAs (did not attends) and so actually show a better picture than normal.
“If we take this figure and multiply it to cover the year that is around £3million, which is money that could be much better used elsewhere within the health economy.
“With health services facing high levels of demand this winter, this is one way we can all help to protect the NHS. It only takes a minute to make that call.”
One way people across the Fylde coast can help remind themselves of their GP appointments is by using the MyGP app, which is available for patients at all Fylde coast practices to book and cancel appointments.