Plea for Belper patients to honour appointments

New health panel
New health panel

Health bosses in Belper have signalled their frustrations at missed appointments, after figures revealed the national scale of the problem.

Figures released by NHS England last week revealed that over 12 million GP appointments are wasted every year by UK patients who book them and then do not show up.

It is estimated that these cost the NHS approximately £162 million a year.

Dr Heather Kinsella, senior GP Partner at Whitemoor Medical Centre, said the national figures were reflected in Belper.

She commented: “There is an extremely high demand for GP appointments and quite naturally patients want to get in to see their GP as soon as they can.

“It is therefore extremely frustrating that up to 96 GP appointments are wasted every month by patients who book them then do not attend.

“If they had only let us know in advance they no longer needed the appointment we could have used them for other patients who wanted to see their GP.”

Linda Cross, practice manager at Riversdale Surgery, agreed that the issue needed tackling.

She said: “It’s important that people realise that not turning up to appointments can have a big impact on the care and treatment we are able to give other patients.

“It wastes doctors’ and nurses’ time too.

“We hope the public will do their bit too by making sure they only attend if needed or cancel appointments in good time. That way, everybody benefits.”