£10m no-show cost
MISSED hospital appointments cost a Teesside NHS trust nearly £10m last year.
The startling figure has been revealed by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the James Cook University Hospital.
Every week more than 1,200 outpatient appointments are wasted at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust because patients fail to turn up.
A total of 65,786 appointments were missed that could have been offered to other patients in 2015 - with each one costing an average of £150.
That means that approximately £9,867,900 was wasted.
The trust is now reviewing its processes to improve patient letters and appointment reminder services to try to reduce its Did Not Attend (DNA) rate.
But it is also urging everyone across Teesside and North Yorkshire to do their bit by letting departments know if they cannot attend an appointment – whatever the reason.
Head of outpatients Ian Rooney said: “There are a number of reasons why people DNA. Some genuinely forget, but others don’t attend because they struggle to get the time off work or are feeling better. We are urging everyone to let us know if they cannot make it as someone else might really need that appointment.
“Plus every missed appointment costs us an average of £150.
“We know we can reduce this, that’s why we are reviewing our patient letters and reminder services, but we need patients to let us know if they will not be attending by calling the number on their appointment letter or using our online cancellation form.
“We are also urging patients to make sure their GP has their up-to-date contact details.”
Patients can cancel or rearrange appointments 24/7 by visiting southtees. nhs. uk/ patients-visitors/ change- appointment.
The trust is urging people to share innovative ideas on how it can reduce its DNA rate. Any suggestions can be tweeted to @SouthTees or post them at facebook.com/SouthTeesHospitals.