People who fail to make their appointments costing hospital £3 million

Dorset Echo: HIGH COST: Missed appointments cost Dorset County Hospital nearly £3m. HIGH COST: Missed appointments cost Dorset County Hospital nearly £3m.

PEOPLE failing to turn up for appointments are costing Dorset County Hospital up to £3million.

Every year more than 19,000 patients fail to turn up for appointments at Dorset County Hospital, costing the facility nearly £3million in loss of income and wasted resources.

To combat this, DCH has launched a new text message reminder service with the aim of cutting the number of missed appointments.

The new service sends out a text just before they are due to attend to remind them of the date and location on their appointment and hospital bosses said it has been working.

Patient Governor Wendy Nightingale urged people to turn up to their appointments and if they couldn’t make it, to let the hospital know.

People made appointments and then some didn’t bother turning up and that was money that could be used elsewhere, she said.

Mrs Night-ingale said that on the positive side that the new text service appeared to be helping.

“It app-ears to be working. There aren’t so many people not turning up for appointments,” she added.

Patient access lead Anita Thomas agreed. She said: “Patient feedback has been very positive and we have certainly seen a reduction in the number of missed appointments since rolling out the service.

“Many pat-ients call us after receiving the text to say they had forgotten about it and would like to change it, which means that we can offer their appointment to another patient.” She added: “For the moment some clinics are not part of the service due to the sensitive nature of the appointment but we are looking at different ways of delivering the message so that they can be included in future. “All new appointment letters contain information on opting out of the system if people would rather not receive texts and there are posters in all outpatient areas and local GP surgeries explaining the service and the opt out process.”

The hospital is urging patients to provide up to date contact details to ensure the system is as effective as possible.

Patients can provide up to date contact details by calling the number on their appointment letter between 8.30am and 5pm from Mondays to Fridays.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:55pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Mrs T. says...

2 years ago I used the NHS Chose and Book service and found that the soonest appointment for an ailment I was very worried about was at Poole Hospital. Having entered their system for the first and every subsequent appointment a nice person rang me during the week before to confirm that I was still able to make the appointment. If I wasn't in they left a message and called back later(even in the evening). I was very impressed by this service that Dorset Hospital does not offer. A text message is a start but a personal friendly person will guarantee better attendance. Why don't NHS establishments share 'best practice'!
2 years ago I used the NHS Chose and Book service and found that the soonest appointment for an ailment I was very worried about was at Poole Hospital. Having entered their system for the first and every subsequent appointment a nice person rang me during the week before to confirm that I was still able to make the appointment. If I wasn't in they left a message and called back later(even in the evening). I was very impressed by this service that Dorset Hospital does not offer. A text message is a start but a personal friendly person will guarantee better attendance. Why don't NHS establishments share 'best practice'! Mrs T.
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree