Like most GP surgeries and NHS services, Bognor Medical Practice deals with a large number of appointments that patients book but don't turn up for. In the second week of October 2019 alone we found that 48 appointments were booked ahead by patients but not attended.
In the last 9 months we have increased the number of pre-bookable appointments by over 15%. When patients call our reception team for an appointment they are either given the RingBack option if it is urgent (more information here), or for routine/non-urgent issues can book ahead for a future date.
As we increase the number of pre-bookable/routine appointments available, the number of patients that DNA (Did Not Attend) also increases. The wasted time proves very frustrating for other patients trying to book ahead for a date of their choosing.
Patients quickly booking but failing to attend their appointments is a major challenge for the entire NHS, as highlighted in this NHS England report.
With an average of more than 1,700 monthly appointments available to book with our clinical team, we have found that nearly 5% of those are wasted through DNAs, which is close to the reported NHS average.
We are conscious that patients like being able to book ahead, and we will continue to offer as many pre-bookable appointments as we can. Our patients can help by ensuring they cancel appointments if they can no longer attend.