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One in 10 hospital appointments missed

28th August 2012

The Department of Health has revealed that one in 10 scheduled hospital appointments in England were missed last year.

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The DH said that although the total number of missed appointments had dropped by 250,000 since the previous year, it still cost them millions of pounds and caused delays in care for other patients.

The government has encouraged hospitals to find ways of reducing the number of missed appointments.

Some hospitals, such as King's College in London, send patients reminder text messages about their appointment date and time.

Health Minister Simon Burns said patients needed to be aware that not turning up for their appointments had an effect on other people.

He added: "It is important that people realise that not turning up for their agreed appointments means other patients' care might be delayed and doctors' and nurses' time could be wasted, costing taxpayers money."

"Today we are highlighting the number of missed appointments so people can see the impact this is having on their NHS."

"Patients often have genuine reasons to miss an appointment, but it can have a big impact on the care we can offer to other patients. It is important that the public understand we have responsibilities too, like not wasting precious NHS resources."

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