Counting the cost: missed appointments


Missed appointments at Ripley Community Hospital have cost £91,000, the NHS says.

Now health bosses are encouraging patients to let their health care staff know if they are unable to keep their planned outpatient appointments.

There were 862 missed consultant-led outpatient clinic appointments at Ripley Community Hospital during last year - from January to December 2013, costing Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust a total of £91,000 in lost income.

This equates to 6.8 per cent of the total 12,698 booked appointments at Ripley Hospital during the year.

William Jones, of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “Missed appointments are a widespread factor across the NHS and various initiatives are underway to minimise the impact.

“We would urge patients, coming to any of our clinics, to contact us in plenty of time if they need to cancel or re-arrange their appointments.

“That way we can offer the appointment to someone else, which helps keep waiting lists down as well as making best use of our clinic time. We really appreciate patients’ cooperation and hope that by highlighting the impact of missed appointments it will help explain the importance of letting us know when people are unable to attend.”

The hospital serves the community for both in-patient and out-patient care, along with other community services.

It also offers a minor injury unit to care for those suffering from minor infections, sprains and superficial cuts.