Log In
Friday 28th October 2016

Millions spent on missed NHS appointments

12th August 2009

New data has revealed that 6.5 million hospital appointments were missed in the UK between 2007 and 2008.


With hospitals losing about £100 per patient in revenue in each case, the cost to the NHS is put at more than £600m.

Patient groups describe missing an appointment as unforgivable while the health workers’ union Unison said that it was not always the patient that was to blame.

It felt with appointments often arranged well in advance, and easily forgotten, more health trusts should find ways of reminding people about their appointments such as by e-mail or text alerts.

The data, provided by analysts Dr Foster and UK health departments, suggested that young men in their early 20s were the worst offenders.

Meanwhile, people aged 70-74 were most likely to keep their appointment.

Overall in the last few years, attendance figures have improved in England, Wales and Northern Ireland while the situation is getting worse in Scotland.

Unison’s head of health Karen Jennings said: "Hospitals who go down the route of over-booking, based on previous experience of missed appointments, must ensure that it doesn't disadvantage patients if there is a 100% turn-out."

But Michael Summers, vice-chair of the Patients Association, said: "We owe a responsibility to our doctors to behave properly. Missed appointments waste healthcare professionals' time and a great deal of money."

The Department of Health said initiatives such as text messages to remind patients were on the rise but with more choice, patients still had a responsibility to keep appointments or cancel within a reasonable time.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Millions spent on missed NHS appointments
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12409
Date Added: 12th Aug 2009


BBC News

Recent Related Articles

Zika mosquito eggs found in UK

CCG finances worsen

A&E targets missed

September heatwave to hit the UK

Trusts' finances on track

Poverty costing UK £78bn a year


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2016