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£42m wasted on missed hospital appointments

3rd April 2013

A combination of data from the Department of Health and Freedom of Information requests showed that missed hospital appointments cost the health service's eastern region £42 million in 2012.

Pound Sign

The information showed although there were five million appointments scheduled in the region's 24 hospital and foundation trusts last year, 418,000 appointments were not attended by patients.

The cost of a missed appointment can vary, but some hospitals apply an average cost of £100, which was used to calculate the £42 million cost.

A spokesman for Colchester Hospital University Trust said: "It is important that members of the public appreciate that they too have responsibilities, like not wasting precious NHS resources."

Dr Tim Walker, a consultant anaesthetist at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: "It has been a significant issue because we have a limited capacity to see patients in clinics. If people then don't turn up we have wasted capacity." 

 

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Comments

Sab Innova

Thursday 11th April 2013 @ 7:03

this is really ridiculous as patient was not attended to their needs knowing that they went or come to the hospital or clinic because they feeling something bad of their health but looks like they been directly neglected of the services.

Debbie Leven

Thursday 18th April 2013 @ 12:10

It's important for there to be much more profile regarding the costs associated with missed appointments. If it's 42 million for the eastern region then I wonder what the national picture looks like. Maybe, if people were more aware of this, and the impact, then we could do something about it and ensure that precious resources are used effectively.

Anonymous

Wednesday 3rd July 2013 @ 10:18

Oh, what a criminal waste of funds when we hear every now and then that NHS is hard pressed for funds and, hence, trying to curtail several important services. If 40m is the figure for only eastern region, the national figure could be around 100m! Patient awareness is a must here. Is it because the medical services are free and nobody need pay anything for either the appointment or the resultant medication. If I had to prepay even a negligble fee for an appointment, I would be careful not to drop it.


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