Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Poll: Thousands of patients fail to turn up for GP appointments

17:43 05 February 2013

Rates of whopping cough soar in region

Rates of whopping cough soar in region

MORE than 50,000 doctor appointments are being missed in north east Essex, it has emerged.

shares

NHS bosses described it as totally unacceptable and have urged patients to be more responsible.

Head of Primary Care for the NHS in north east Essex Jennifer Speller said: “This is a shockingly high figure. Surgeries receive a lot of stick from patients who can’t get an appointment when they want one, but what these patients may not realise is that it is their fellow patients not cancelling appointments who are causing much of the problem.

“We need patients to be responsible. No-one thinks twice about phoning up their hairdresser if they can’t make an appointment but it would appear that some don’t think it is necessary to cancel their GP appointment if they are unable to make it.

“Even if patients find out at short notice they cannot make an appointment, it is still important they let their surgery know as that appointment could then be offered to somebody else who really needs it.”

According to NHS North Essex - the transitional organisation overseeing the change from the primary care trust to the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group - the total number of missed GP and nurse appointments for 2012 was 55,000.

Ms Speller added: “In the past, people have said they didn’t cancel their appointment because they couldn’t get through to the surgery as the phone lines were always busy.

“However, a number of our 44 GP surgeries across north east Essex now have a 24-hour telephone facility so patients can leave a message cancelling their appointment and some surgeries also offer an online cancellation facility. I would urge people to think of their fellow patients and make every effort to cancel their appointment if they are unable to attend.”

Martin Durrant, practice manager at Vicarge Lane Surgery in Walton-on-the-Naze, said they have worked hard to reduce the number of unattended appointments fromr around 200 a month three years ago to 90 a month now.

“It’s a very good reduction but 90 are still too many and it remains an issue we need to continue tackling,” he said. “We have introduced sending a text reminder of appointments, though only 27% of our 10,500 patients have a mobile phone.”

He said the surgery had also introduced a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy whereby anyone who misses three appointments without notification is removed from their register. So far, two patients have been removed for being serial non-attendees.

“I believe the messages is getting across that this is something we take very seriously because it deprives patients who really need to see a doctor the opportunity to do so,” he added.

shares

2 comments

  • It is certainly a large number of missed appointments, but to put it into context we need to know over what period this number of appointments have been missed, or relate it to the actual number of appointments made.

    Report this comment

    Rolf

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I find it hard to believe that "only 27% of their 10,500 patients have a mobile phone". I suspect that patients are not being asked for a mobile number when making an appointment. The majority of pensioners I know have them but maybe not know their mobile number off the top of their head.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A large tree has smashed into electricity cables after heavy winds in Great Barton.

Strong winds early today have brought down trees and power lines around the county, causing disruption for morning travellers.

Ipswich Crown Court

A Suffolk nightclub owner who shoved a man in the chest causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the pavement has been warned he is facing a jail sentence after admitting manslaughter.

Ipswich Academy.

A shadow of doubt has been cast over the capability of the new sponsor of a struggling academy in Ipswich.

Framlingham College's cabaret performance

Students at an independent school in east Suffolk attempted to recreate the glitz and glamour of the West End during their recent annual cabaret performance.

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

More than 20 ex-pupils of a former Suffolk school have made allegations of physical and sexual abuse, Suffolk Constabulary has said.

Ipswich Hospital on Heath Road, Ipswich.

Ipswich Hospital could finish this financial year on a deficit of up to £12million, with a significant increase in emergency admissions just one of the reasons for the position.

Povey hurled bottles towards Tesco staff because he wanted to go back to prison

A homeless man caused Tesco staff to “run for their lives” as he hurled bottles of alcohol towards them because he wanted to return to prison, a court heard.

Homes are included in the plans. Library image.

Plans for a large-scale development off the A120 at Ramsey creating more than 1,000 jobs have been tipped for approval tonight.

An impression of the possible development of the island site with the double bridge over the lock in the foreground.

A road crossing across Ipswich’s wet dock would lead to more traffic and pollution, transport campaigners have said.

Police want to speak to this man after a disturbance in Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, on March 15 2015

Police have released CCTV of a man they want to speak to after a disturbance in Moulsham Street.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages