An average 4 appointments each day are lost to ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA), i.e. the patient does not turn up for the appointment and does not contact the surgery in advance to cancel/change the appointment. We accept that people can sometimes forget appointments but note this is often a recurrent pattern of behaviour causing:
- An increase in the waiting time for routine appointments
- Frustration for both staff and patients
- A potential risk to the health of the patient.
Our computer system automatically logs All DNAs from the appointment system and we examine a report each month of the numbers of wasted appointments and a list of the patients who have not attended their booked appointments.
If a patient fails to attend more than three pre-booked appointments within a year, a warning letter is sent to the patient advising that if they DNA one further appointment they will be removed from the Practice list. The HSC Board will be informed of the request to remove the patient from our list and a letter will be sent informing the patient that he/she is being removed from our list and detailing the reason.
We strongly encourage patients to reschedule appointments if they are unable to attend. This frees their appointment slot up for another patient and should decrease the overall waiting time for routine appointments.