Choose and Book increases non-attendance by 50%

Patients are 50% more likely to fail to attend appointments made using the Choose and Book system, according to research.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

A study by the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery at the University Hospital, Lewisham, south east London, found that non-attendance was 12% with GP referrals but 18% using Choose and Book.

The authors said: ‘Choose and Book has failed to achieve its main goal of improving patients’ satisfaction and attendance.

‘It creates an unnecessary economic burden on the health system and jeopardises the prioritisation process by removing clinicians from the process.’

A DoH spokesperson said: ‘We are surprised by these findings given that all the other evidence suggests Choose and Book significantly reduces DNA ('did not attend') rates. It is logical that if a patient is actively involved in decisions about their care, attendance is likely to improve. We note that further research is being undertaken to test these findings and seek an explanation for them.'

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