Patients miss 5% of all appointments at GP practices

Patients fail to attend one in 20 appointments with GPs or other practice staff, research by an LMC shows.

Dr Chris Hewitt: Missed appointments are adding to pressure on GPs
Dr Chris Hewitt: Missed appointments are adding to pressure on GPs

Doctors’ leaders have warned that no-shows for GP appointments are increasing pressure on a GP workforce that is already overstretched.

In 2014, patients did not attend (DNA) 68,000 appointments across 29 practices that took part in a study by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland LMC.

The findings suggest that across England, more than 16m appointments are missed annually.

A GPonline survey earlier this year found that around 14m appointments with GPs were missed each year – equivalent to 300,000 a week across England.

GP appointments missed

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland LMC chief executive Dr Chris Hewitt said: ‘Even though GPs and practice staff are working flat out, patients sometimes struggle to get an appointment, and these figures show that part of the problem is that people clog up doctors’ diaries and then fail to keep their appointments.

‘There is huge concern about GP workload and its potential effect on patient care, and missed appointments are making things worse for everyone.’

The LMC research looked at 29 out of 148 practices in the area, with a total patient list size of 230,967.

Of these practices, 14 were in the Leicester CCG area, 12 in West Leicestershire and three in East Leicestershire and Rutland.

Around 1.3m appointments were scheduled with GPs, nurses and nurse practitioners, healthcare assistants and phlebotomists, including telephone appointments and home visits in 2014.

A total of 68,079 appointments in 2014 were marked as DNAs.

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