Bid to cut missed GP appointments

A GP consortium in Sheffield has launched a campaign to cut missed appointments.

Nationally, 13.5 million GP appointments are missed annually, at an estimated cost to the NHS of £180 million.

Central Sheffield GP Consortium carried out a survey across 18 of its 27 practices and discovered that, during one week in April, 678 appointments went unattended.

This resulted in other patients waiting longer for appointments, diagnosis and treatment, the consortium said.

At one practice, the Dovercourt Surgery, 49 appointments with GPs and the practice nurse were missed during the survey.

A GP at the practice, Dr Maria Read, said: 'Some people made an urgent appointment that day and then did not come. Others were texted to remind them the day before and even this did not prompt them to tell us they were not coming.

'They just did not turn up, which meant that those appointments couldn't be offered to anyone else.'

The consortium's campaign will urge patients not to waste their appointments and to contact their surgery if they know they will miss an appointment.

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