Missed hospital appointments cost NHS in Dorset more than £8m

Dorset Echo: COSTS: Dorset County Hospital COSTS: Dorset County Hospital

PATIENTS who miss hospital appointments have cost the NHS in Dorset more than £8 million pounds in the last three years, the Echo can reveal.

Around 70 patients fail to turn up for appointments each weekday at Dorset County Hospital.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show there has been a total of £8,171,526 lost in revenue since 2011 – and the cost is increasing each year.

And this figure doesn’t include the lost revenue from cancelled appointments, according to DCH NHS Foundation Trust.

Health bosses have hit out at those who miss their appointments due to the impact on wasted NHS resources and waiting lists where slots could have been offered to other patients.

Automated reminders are cutting the number of wasted appointments but hospitals say patients must do their bit by not wasting resources.

Thousands of Dorset residents fail to turn up to their appointments every year and the average cost of a new outpatient appointment is £206, with a follow up appointment standing at £119.

Last year the losses reached an all time high at £2,787,929 while the figures for 2011/12 stood at a lost £2,673,106 and for 2012/13 at £2,710,491. The highest losses were in orthodontics in both 2011/12 and 2012/13 with the second highest for each year being in ophthalmology.

In 2013/14 the highest losses were in audiology with the second highest losses coming from ophthalmology appointments.

The Trust is unable to provide information on revenue loss for cancellations as they do not have a system to accurately report on this. The information obtained by the Dorset Echo is on DNA (did not attend) or missed appointments in outpatients.

Dorset County Hospital’s director of operations Patricia Miller said: “Every year thousands of patients don’t turn up for their appointments, which has a huge impact in terms of wasted NHS resources. It also impacts on waiting lists as those appointment slots could have been offered to other patients.”

She added: “We are having a big push at the moment to get up-to-date contact details from patients so that we can keep in touch.

“We would particularly like people to provide their mobile phone numbers so we can send them a text reminding them about forthcoming appointments.

“Patient feedback about the text reminder service has been very positive and we have certainly seen a reduction in the number of missed appointments since rolling out the service.

“Many patients 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.”

While some clinics are not part of the text reminder service at the moment due to the sensitive nature of the appointment, plans are in place to find different ways of delivering the message.

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.

Delays due to non-attenders

MISSED appointments can cause serious delays in treatments for other patients says Martyn Webster, regional manager of Healthwatch Dorset.

He said: “There can be many reasons for patients not attending appointments – they may be feeling better, they may have transport problems or be unable to get through to the clinic or department to change or cancel their appointment.

“Or in some cases they simply forget. But missed appointments can cause serious delays in treatment, not only for the patients who miss these appointments, but for other patients too.”

He added: “Services need to engage with their patients who don’t keep appointments to understand the reasons why, and to make sure that they are giving clear information, and are able to offer appointments which fit round people’s other commitments such as work or child care. “They also need to make the best use of a whole range of methods that have been shown to significantly reduce DNAs (do not attends). For example text reminders.

“If people are experiencing any particular difficulties with appointments systems we would like to hear from them on 0300 111 0102 or healthwatchdorset.co.uk”

PATIENTS are being urged by patient governors to try and ‘do better’.

Patient governor Andy Hutchings said: “It is very disturbing to hear of the amount of patients that are failing to turn up for their appointments.

“The trust is going out of its way to help patients with reminders about their appointments and patients must try to do better.”

Governor Michel Hooper-Immins said: “Missed appointments are a problem throughout the NHS. Many GP surgeries will tell a similar story.

“Dorset County Hospital has pioneered a system of text reminders which must have helped. “As a patient representative, I do urge patients to notify the hospital or surgery as soon as they know they can’t make an appointment. The time can then be reallocated to other patients.”

Comments (29)

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7:28am Tue 1 Jul 14

MrTomSmith says...

If its as much as 8 Million then it would easily be worth employing someone to ring up patients a couple of days before and check they are aware and are still going to attend. Its called being pro active. My dentist does it and it is an excellent service. Yes it would cost money to administer, but with these figures is obvious something has to be done.
If its as much as 8 Million then it would easily be worth employing someone to ring up patients a couple of days before and check they are aware and are still going to attend. Its called being pro active. My dentist does it and it is an excellent service. Yes it would cost money to administer, but with these figures is obvious something has to be done. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 15

7:36am Tue 1 Jul 14

marabout says...

Easy.

Charge people for an appointment.

It costs £5 for a hospital appointment which is returnable when you arrive at the reception.
Easy. Charge people for an appointment. It costs £5 for a hospital appointment which is returnable when you arrive at the reception. marabout
  • Score: 11

8:40am Tue 1 Jul 14

MrTomSmith says...

marabout wrote:
Easy.

Charge people for an appointment.

It costs £5 for a hospital appointment which is returnable when you arrive at the reception.
Now that is a lot of administration. In principal a good idea, but in practice quite a long process.
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: Easy. Charge people for an appointment. It costs £5 for a hospital appointment which is returnable when you arrive at the reception.[/p][/quote]Now that is a lot of administration. In principal a good idea, but in practice quite a long process. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 8

8:51am Tue 1 Jul 14

JackJohnson says...

Questionable.

With the NHS as overstretched as it is, there's almost always going to be someone sitting waiting if a patient doesn't turn up on time, or someone waiting for a bed. No money has been lost that the NHS could have fulfilled a service to earn.

I always arrive for GP appointments about 30 minutes early. I've had about 12 in the last 12 months. I've been called in early once, and less than 6 times on time. So that's more than 5 appointments out of 12 where I've ended up waiting for the doc. I don't think he's spending much, if any, of his time sitting waiting for late or missing patients.

Still, it's ignorant and discourteous not to let the doc/surgery/hospital know if you can't, or longer need to, attend. My surgery keeps a number of slots for emergency appointments. An abandoned scheduled appointment could be added to the emergency slots if the receptionist knows someone isn't going to turn up.
Questionable. With the NHS as overstretched as it is, there's almost always going to be someone sitting waiting if a patient doesn't turn up on time, or someone waiting for a bed. No money has been lost that the NHS could have fulfilled a service to earn. I always arrive for GP appointments about 30 minutes early. I've had about 12 in the last 12 months. I've been called in early once, and less than 6 times on time. So that's more than 5 appointments out of 12 where I've ended up waiting for the doc. I don't think he's spending much, if any, of his time sitting waiting for late or missing patients. Still, it's ignorant and discourteous not to let the doc/surgery/hospital know if you can't, or longer need to, attend. My surgery keeps a number of slots for emergency appointments. An abandoned scheduled appointment could be added to the emergency slots if the receptionist knows someone isn't going to turn up. JackJohnson
  • Score: 5

10:22am Tue 1 Jul 14

RifRafDac says...

Forgetting all the politics, these are completely embarrassing figures in all honesty. To me there really can be no excuse. Surely if you book an appointment, you need it at that specific time?
I agree with a comment above. Charging people reasonable amounts is definitely an option worth exploring. It may well work.
Forgetting all the politics, these are completely embarrassing figures in all honesty. To me there really can be no excuse. Surely if you book an appointment, you need it at that specific time? I agree with a comment above. Charging people reasonable amounts is definitely an option worth exploring. It may well work. RifRafDac
  • Score: 5

10:52am Tue 1 Jul 14

unexpected error says...

In January I was sent an follow up appointment for the following January 2015. I almost turned up a year early when I happened to note the day and date didn't match. With the best will in the world you can see how it would be easy to miss appointments booked so far in advance. I also think parking is an issue, I'm sure some must give up sometimes.

With appointment times for some clinics regularly being double or treble booked I'm still at a loss as to how the costs incurred are derived at. Every article written on the subject doesn't actually explain but the bottom line it is common courtesy to cancel and let somebody else have your slot.
In January I was sent an follow up appointment for the following January 2015. I almost turned up a year early when I happened to note the day and date didn't match. With the best will in the world you can see how it would be easy to miss appointments booked so far in advance. I also think parking is an issue, I'm sure some must give up sometimes. With appointment times for some clinics regularly being double or treble booked I'm still at a loss as to how the costs incurred are derived at. Every article written on the subject doesn't actually explain but the bottom line it is common courtesy to cancel and let somebody else have your slot. unexpected error
  • Score: 5

10:59am Tue 1 Jul 14

shy talk says...

In my days in the Royal Navy if you missed a medical or dental appointment and did contact them. You were placed on a charge of being absence from place of duty. On average you were fined about £150. Draconian yes, but it worked.
In my days in the Royal Navy if you missed a medical or dental appointment and did contact them. You were placed on a charge of being absence from place of duty. On average you were fined about £150. Draconian yes, but it worked. shy talk
  • Score: 5

11:47am Tue 1 Jul 14

westbaywonder says...

How many did not attend due to pathetic car parks with no spaces,so returned home!
How many did not attend becouse they just could not face the horrible place!
How many did not attend due to pathetic car parks with no spaces,so returned home! How many did not attend becouse they just could not face the horrible place! westbaywonder
  • Score: -6

11:55am Tue 1 Jul 14

Grobag says...

I absolutely dread to think how late appointments would be if everyone turned up . I damaged my knee a few years ago and was consistently seen up to 30-60 minutes late .
I absolutely dread to think how late appointments would be if everyone turned up . I damaged my knee a few years ago and was consistently seen up to 30-60 minutes late . Grobag
  • Score: 7

12:22pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Diesel Dog says...

How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too.

Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.
How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too. Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS. Diesel Dog
  • Score: 13

12:42pm Tue 1 Jul 14

1Kimberlin says...

Wondering how many appointments were missed due to the inadequate Patient Transport Service,where the Transport Control Officer can cancel appointments willy nilly as they have done twice for my husband since they took over from the very bad SWAS. Or get you there up to an hour late. Luckily for him they were minor follow ups.
I agree that a Multi Storey Car Park should be built as soon as possible as the current car parking situation is appalling.
Wondering how many appointments were missed due to the inadequate Patient Transport Service,where the Transport Control Officer can cancel appointments willy nilly as they have done twice for my husband since they took over from the very bad SWAS. Or get you there up to an hour late. Luckily for him they were minor follow ups. I agree that a Multi Storey Car Park should be built as soon as possible as the current car parking situation is appalling. 1Kimberlin
  • Score: 13

2:41pm Tue 1 Jul 14

liejacker says...

Diesel Dog wrote:
How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too.

Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.
Get the bus
[quote][p][bold]Diesel Dog[/bold] wrote: How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too. Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.[/p][/quote]Get the bus liejacker
  • Score: 1

2:45pm Tue 1 Jul 14

liejacker says...

I'd rather see charges for missed appointments than the current creeping privatisation of our Health Service.

Turn up on time, take a good book, relax and wait; the staff you see are all doing their best in difficult times.

If you can't make the appointment, tell them!
I'd rather see charges for missed appointments than the current creeping privatisation of our Health Service. Turn up on time, take a good book, relax and wait; the staff you see are all doing their best in difficult times. If you can't make the appointment, tell them! liejacker
  • Score: 9

2:49pm Tue 1 Jul 14

February1948 says...

MrTomSmith wrote:
If its as much as 8 Million then it would easily be worth employing someone to ring up patients a couple of days before and check they are aware and are still going to attend. Its called being pro active. My dentist does it and it is an excellent service. Yes it would cost money to administer, but with these figures is obvious something has to be done.
Correct. It would cost money, but not £8M! Those who do miss appointments without notice should be charged, even a nominal £10 which is far less than the hourly pay of hospital staff which is being thrown away because of missed appointments. After all, the hospital would have the patients' names and addresses. Dentists do it, so do other private practices, so why not NHS hospitals?
And yes, I know the chances of getting the money are remote, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
[quote][p][bold]MrTomSmith[/bold] wrote: If its as much as 8 Million then it would easily be worth employing someone to ring up patients a couple of days before and check they are aware and are still going to attend. Its called being pro active. My dentist does it and it is an excellent service. Yes it would cost money to administer, but with these figures is obvious something has to be done.[/p][/quote]Correct. It would cost money, but not £8M! Those who do miss appointments without notice should be charged, even a nominal £10 which is far less than the hourly pay of hospital staff which is being thrown away because of missed appointments. After all, the hospital would have the patients' names and addresses. Dentists do it, so do other private practices, so why not NHS hospitals? And yes, I know the chances of getting the money are remote, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. February1948
  • Score: 4

10:36pm Tue 1 Jul 14

jmc1 says...

Just give the appointment to the next person in line and make the original person go to the end of the queue
Just give the appointment to the next person in line and make the original person go to the end of the queue jmc1
  • Score: 2

11:04pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Patient Care says...

Patient Care- Wish we could estimate how many Appointments have been lost since 1 October 2013 by the new Non Emergency Transport Service Awarded by the CCG called EZEC wasting more of Taxpayers money.
I would just like to Personally Thank DCH for the Text Message Reminder Service which is Excellent- Maybe not for the more Vulnerable/Elderly or Mental Health Patients, whereby other means of Communication may be more Appropriate ie: Support Workers/ Wardens /Relatives.
I am Proud of having and being part of the NHS and seeing the Pressures, that Each Service is presently under and how they All Pull together on a daily Basis. As a Patient using the Services provided , CANCEL Your Appointment or Be Charged! We are Charged for every Service in this Country so Failing to Attend I am somewhat surprised the Government have not jumped all over it by now.
Patient Care- Wish we could estimate how many Appointments have been lost since 1 October 2013 by the new Non Emergency Transport Service Awarded by the CCG called EZEC wasting more of Taxpayers money. I would just like to Personally Thank DCH for the Text Message Reminder Service which is Excellent- Maybe not for the more Vulnerable/Elderly or Mental Health Patients, whereby other means of Communication may be more Appropriate ie: Support Workers/ Wardens /Relatives. I am Proud of having and being part of the NHS and seeing the Pressures, that Each Service is presently under and how they All Pull together on a daily Basis. As a Patient using the Services provided , CANCEL Your Appointment or Be Charged! We are Charged for every Service in this Country so Failing to Attend I am somewhat surprised the Government have not jumped all over it by now. Patient Care
  • Score: 2

6:33am Wed 2 Jul 14

Medifix says...

I highlighted this problem in my article "Reduce the time you and your patient wait" and suggested some solution. (http://www.users.gl
obalnet.co.uk/~dsall
en/researchda9901.pd
f).
Since I published this article, I continued my research because I anticipated this problem and so developed simple tool.
Unfortunately my works was not in the interest of some members of my own profession. As my teachers said "Our eyes do not see what we cannot think" and so this callus attitude seem to have back fired.
I highlighted this problem in my article "Reduce the time you and your patient wait" and suggested some solution. (http://www.users.gl obalnet.co.uk/~dsall en/researchda9901.pd f). Since I published this article, I continued my research because I anticipated this problem and so developed simple tool. Unfortunately my works was not in the interest of some members of my own profession. As my teachers said "Our eyes do not see what we cannot think" and so this callus attitude seem to have back fired. Medifix
  • Score: 2

10:11am Wed 2 Jul 14

MaidofDorset says...

It doesn't take much to pick up a phone and say 'I'm better now, cancel the appointment' or 'I can't do next Thursday' (unless they were held in a 'your call is valued all our operators are busy' queue for a prolonged time.

Perhaps DCH should have a follow up phone call to find out why they didn't need the appointment and why they didn't bother to cancel it.
It doesn't take much to pick up a phone and say 'I'm better now, cancel the appointment' or 'I can't do next Thursday' (unless they were held in a 'your call is valued all our operators are busy' queue for a prolonged time. Perhaps DCH should have a follow up phone call to find out why they didn't need the appointment and why they didn't bother to cancel it. MaidofDorset
  • Score: 2

11:19am Wed 2 Jul 14

portlandboy says...

MrTomSmith wrote:
If its as much as 8 Million then it would easily be worth employing someone to ring up patients a couple of days before and check they are aware and are still going to attend. Its called being pro active. My dentist does it and it is an excellent service. Yes it would cost money to administer, but with these figures is obvious something has to be done.
A good idea and, in some departments, already basically happening. Some of the clinics I attend offer a text reminder service. It has been useful for me on at least one occasion where I had forgotten an appointment was due, got the text and arrived without problem.
But, remember last week's headline about the Ezec Patient Transport inquiry? I have been waiting for appointments, had a text to remind me of the date and time and Ezec fail to collect me. I know they have missed literally 100's of patient collections and therefore cost a considerable amount in missed appointments. What happened to Ezec after they conrtibuted to so many missed appointments and cost the hospital so much money? They got given EXTRA money added to improve their contracted service!!
[quote][p][bold]MrTomSmith[/bold] wrote: If its as much as 8 Million then it would easily be worth employing someone to ring up patients a couple of days before and check they are aware and are still going to attend. Its called being pro active. My dentist does it and it is an excellent service. Yes it would cost money to administer, but with these figures is obvious something has to be done.[/p][/quote]A good idea and, in some departments, already basically happening. Some of the clinics I attend offer a text reminder service. It has been useful for me on at least one occasion where I had forgotten an appointment was due, got the text and arrived without problem. But, remember last week's headline about the Ezec Patient Transport inquiry? I have been waiting for appointments, had a text to remind me of the date and time and Ezec fail to collect me. I know they have missed literally 100's of patient collections and therefore cost a considerable amount in missed appointments. What happened to Ezec after they conrtibuted to so many missed appointments and cost the hospital so much money? They got given EXTRA money added to improve their contracted service!! portlandboy
  • Score: 0

11:55am Wed 2 Jul 14

JamesYoung says...

There is another side to this story. I recently had to attend for an investigative procedure. Scheduled for a Thursday morning, it was brought forward by 2 days, then moved back a week, then by another week and finally brought forward again. The latter change was made at the last minute and as I work away during the week the first I knew about having "missed" the changed appointment was when I had a call from a stroppy administrator.
And then of course there is the nonsensical queuing system. There is no point having 10 people turn up at 2pm for an afternoon appointment when each appointment takes 30 minutes. I cannot understand why the hospital cannot give a more accurate appointment time. After all, nearly every other organisation on the planet can.
We are taught that we should be grateful for the shoddy service offered by the NHS. I disagree: I am a customer, not a charity case.
The staff, incidentally, are mostly magical. It is the processes that need shaking up.
There is another side to this story. I recently had to attend for an investigative procedure. Scheduled for a Thursday morning, it was brought forward by 2 days, then moved back a week, then by another week and finally brought forward again. The latter change was made at the last minute and as I work away during the week the first I knew about having "missed" the changed appointment was when I had a call from a stroppy administrator. And then of course there is the nonsensical queuing system. There is no point having 10 people turn up at 2pm for an afternoon appointment when each appointment takes 30 minutes. I cannot understand why the hospital cannot give a more accurate appointment time. After all, nearly every other organisation on the planet can. We are taught that we should be grateful for the shoddy service offered by the NHS. I disagree: I am a customer, not a charity case. The staff, incidentally, are mostly magical. It is the processes that need shaking up. JamesYoung
  • Score: 2

12:27pm Wed 2 Jul 14

portlandboy says...

JamesYoung wrote:
There is another side to this story. I recently had to attend for an investigative procedure. Scheduled for a Thursday morning, it was brought forward by 2 days, then moved back a week, then by another week and finally brought forward again. The latter change was made at the last minute and as I work away during the week the first I knew about having "missed" the changed appointment was when I had a call from a stroppy administrator.
And then of course there is the nonsensical queuing system. There is no point having 10 people turn up at 2pm for an afternoon appointment when each appointment takes 30 minutes. I cannot understand why the hospital cannot give a more accurate appointment time. After all, nearly every other organisation on the planet can.
We are taught that we should be grateful for the shoddy service offered by the NHS. I disagree: I am a customer, not a charity case.
The staff, incidentally, are mostly magical. It is the processes that need shaking up.
I agree that the appointment system changes have not helped.
At the end of a visit the doctor gives the patient a slip of paper, the patient goes to the reception with the paper, the receptionists (often up to 3 people!) can't give you a follow-up appointment, but send the paper to a central appointments office. Weeks later an appointment arrives that is not a suitable day/time and calls have to be made to change it, or it is forgotten.
What was wrong with making a follow-up appointment at the clinic, allowing the patient to choose and avoid all of the added to-ing and fro-ing? Surely there must be a huge cost involved with having a dedicated appointments office and staffing it? Yet the same number of receptionsists are still in the clinics, so no saving has been made there.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: There is another side to this story. I recently had to attend for an investigative procedure. Scheduled for a Thursday morning, it was brought forward by 2 days, then moved back a week, then by another week and finally brought forward again. The latter change was made at the last minute and as I work away during the week the first I knew about having "missed" the changed appointment was when I had a call from a stroppy administrator. And then of course there is the nonsensical queuing system. There is no point having 10 people turn up at 2pm for an afternoon appointment when each appointment takes 30 minutes. I cannot understand why the hospital cannot give a more accurate appointment time. After all, nearly every other organisation on the planet can. We are taught that we should be grateful for the shoddy service offered by the NHS. I disagree: I am a customer, not a charity case. The staff, incidentally, are mostly magical. It is the processes that need shaking up.[/p][/quote]I agree that the appointment system changes have not helped. At the end of a visit the doctor gives the patient a slip of paper, the patient goes to the reception with the paper, the receptionists (often up to 3 people!) can't give you a follow-up appointment, but send the paper to a central appointments office. Weeks later an appointment arrives that is not a suitable day/time and calls have to be made to change it, or it is forgotten. What was wrong with making a follow-up appointment at the clinic, allowing the patient to choose and avoid all of the added to-ing and fro-ing? Surely there must be a huge cost involved with having a dedicated appointments office and staffing it? Yet the same number of receptionsists are still in the clinics, so no saving has been made there. portlandboy
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Wed 2 Jul 14

February1948 says...

portlandboy wrote:
JamesYoung wrote: There is another side to this story. I recently had to attend for an investigative procedure. Scheduled for a Thursday morning, it was brought forward by 2 days, then moved back a week, then by another week and finally brought forward again. The latter change was made at the last minute and as I work away during the week the first I knew about having "missed" the changed appointment was when I had a call from a stroppy administrator. And then of course there is the nonsensical queuing system. There is no point having 10 people turn up at 2pm for an afternoon appointment when each appointment takes 30 minutes. I cannot understand why the hospital cannot give a more accurate appointment time. After all, nearly every other organisation on the planet can. We are taught that we should be grateful for the shoddy service offered by the NHS. I disagree: I am a customer, not a charity case. The staff, incidentally, are mostly magical. It is the processes that need shaking up.
I agree that the appointment system changes have not helped. At the end of a visit the doctor gives the patient a slip of paper, the patient goes to the reception with the paper, the receptionists (often up to 3 people!) can't give you a follow-up appointment, but send the paper to a central appointments office. Weeks later an appointment arrives that is not a suitable day/time and calls have to be made to change it, or it is forgotten. What was wrong with making a follow-up appointment at the clinic, allowing the patient to choose and avoid all of the added to-ing and fro-ing? Surely there must be a huge cost involved with having a dedicated appointments office and staffing it? Yet the same number of receptionsists are still in the clinics, so no saving has been made there.
Yes, I've been a "victim" of this. I am old enough to remember when one person, the almoner, ran the whole of a department. You turned up, on time, saw the doctor, on time, saw the almoner on your departure from the hospital, who there and then made your next appointment. All using a piece of paper and a pen! However, you had no choice about when your next appointment would be - the almoner's word was law - like matron's!
[quote][p][bold]portlandboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: There is another side to this story. I recently had to attend for an investigative procedure. Scheduled for a Thursday morning, it was brought forward by 2 days, then moved back a week, then by another week and finally brought forward again. The latter change was made at the last minute and as I work away during the week the first I knew about having "missed" the changed appointment was when I had a call from a stroppy administrator. And then of course there is the nonsensical queuing system. There is no point having 10 people turn up at 2pm for an afternoon appointment when each appointment takes 30 minutes. I cannot understand why the hospital cannot give a more accurate appointment time. After all, nearly every other organisation on the planet can. We are taught that we should be grateful for the shoddy service offered by the NHS. I disagree: I am a customer, not a charity case. The staff, incidentally, are mostly magical. It is the processes that need shaking up.[/p][/quote]I agree that the appointment system changes have not helped. At the end of a visit the doctor gives the patient a slip of paper, the patient goes to the reception with the paper, the receptionists (often up to 3 people!) can't give you a follow-up appointment, but send the paper to a central appointments office. Weeks later an appointment arrives that is not a suitable day/time and calls have to be made to change it, or it is forgotten. What was wrong with making a follow-up appointment at the clinic, allowing the patient to choose and avoid all of the added to-ing and fro-ing? Surely there must be a huge cost involved with having a dedicated appointments office and staffing it? Yet the same number of receptionsists are still in the clinics, so no saving has been made there.[/p][/quote]Yes, I've been a "victim" of this. I am old enough to remember when one person, the almoner, ran the whole of a department. You turned up, on time, saw the doctor, on time, saw the almoner on your departure from the hospital, who there and then made your next appointment. All using a piece of paper and a pen! However, you had no choice about when your next appointment would be - the almoner's word was law - like matron's! February1948
  • Score: 2

2:18pm Wed 2 Jul 14

wurzelbasher says...

People who fail to keep appointments without notification are inconveniencing others, to say the least: they might even be endangering others and sending them a hefty bill for wasting doctors' time would serve them jolly well right, and be a deterrent to other time wasters!
People who fail to keep appointments without notification are inconveniencing others, to say the least: they might even be endangering others and sending them a hefty bill for wasting doctors' time would serve them jolly well right, and be a deterrent to other time wasters! wurzelbasher
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Fich 26 says...

liejacker wrote:
Diesel Dog wrote:
How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too.

Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.
Get the bus
If you lived in Martinstown this is no longer an option as we now have no regular daytime bus service. I agree better car parking would go a long way to making it easier to attend.
Anyone notice in the picture the street light on in daytime? Lets hope the NHS isn't paying that bill too.
[quote][p][bold]liejacker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Diesel Dog[/bold] wrote: How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too. Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.[/p][/quote]Get the bus[/p][/quote]If you lived in Martinstown this is no longer an option as we now have no regular daytime bus service. I agree better car parking would go a long way to making it easier to attend. Anyone notice in the picture the street light on in daytime? Lets hope the NHS isn't paying that bill too. Fich 26
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Wed 2 Jul 14

JACKC says...

I think there are many reasons why SOME appointments are missed. From experience too many changes to original dates are made - too confusing for some who have several different specialities on the go. Parking is a big issue, and also when you are in the waiting room - just ask others what time their appointment is... I bet at least 3 of you have the same time! The lack of interest/knowledge of the persons holding the clinics make people think what a waste of time it is too! The lack of time available on over booked clinics and patients won't come back. Reminders is one good way to tackle this - by phone not letter or text, so the appointment can be given to someone else if the original patient does not intend to attend.
I think there are many reasons why SOME appointments are missed. From experience too many changes to original dates are made - too confusing for some who have several different specialities on the go. Parking is a big issue, and also when you are in the waiting room - just ask others what time their appointment is... I bet at least 3 of you have the same time! The lack of interest/knowledge of the persons holding the clinics make people think what a waste of time it is too! The lack of time available on over booked clinics and patients won't come back. Reminders is one good way to tackle this - by phone not letter or text, so the appointment can be given to someone else if the original patient does not intend to attend. JACKC
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Wed 2 Jul 14

smhbcfc says...

Simple - charge people if they miss an appointment (unless they phone to say they can't make it). this will be a national problem not just DCH.

Of course for some of our society it will always be someone else's fault - never theirs
Simple - charge people if they miss an appointment (unless they phone to say they can't make it). this will be a national problem not just DCH. Of course for some of our society it will always be someone else's fault - never theirs smhbcfc
  • Score: 1

9:59am Thu 3 Jul 14

JamesYoung says...

smhbcfc wrote:
Simple - charge people if they miss an appointment (unless they phone to say they can't make it). this will be a national problem not just DCH.

Of course for some of our society it will always be someone else's fault - never theirs
Or maybe take a different approach. Make people pay a small amount for an appointment.
And invest the money in not wasting people's time.
My doctor can give me an appointment at the GP surgery at 11am.
I don't see why the hospital has to have 10 of us turn up at 7am.
[quote][p][bold]smhbcfc[/bold] wrote: Simple - charge people if they miss an appointment (unless they phone to say they can't make it). this will be a national problem not just DCH. Of course for some of our society it will always be someone else's fault - never theirs[/p][/quote]Or maybe take a different approach. Make people pay a small amount for an appointment. And invest the money in not wasting people's time. My doctor can give me an appointment at the GP surgery at 11am. I don't see why the hospital has to have 10 of us turn up at 7am. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Sat 5 Jul 14

popsiebabes says...

Diesel Dog wrote:
How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too.

Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.
Those with long memories will remember it was Charlie boy who did not want a multi story or underground car park put in when the hospital was built. Take it up with him, he has added to the problem of the parking.
[quote][p][bold]Diesel Dog[/bold] wrote: How many appointments are missed due to lack of parking. I plan to arrive in Dorchester up to 30 minutes before so I can walk up to 1 mile to get there on time. Texting reminders could help too. Dorchester hospital serves a rural population so public transport is not a fantastic option. The hospital could build a multi storey and please don't let NCP profit from it. Put that profit back into the NHS.[/p][/quote]Those with long memories will remember it was Charlie boy who did not want a multi story or underground car park put in when the hospital was built. Take it up with him, he has added to the problem of the parking. popsiebabes
  • Score: 1

7:23pm Sat 5 Jul 14

ronfogg says...

Just got back from holiday to find a letter dated 23 June inviting my partner to an appointment on 26 June. We left for our holiday on 21 June. Whose fault is that?
Just got back from holiday to find a letter dated 23 June inviting my partner to an appointment on 26 June. We left for our holiday on 21 June. Whose fault is that? ronfogg
  • Score: 1
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