Derby GP practices could have seen 3,500 more patients since last April if they had not been waiting for people who failed to keep appointments.
The shocking figures were revealed this week by the 12 practices responsible for 145,000 patients in the Derby Commissioning Network area of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The statistics were published by the CCG to highlight the importance of patients turning up on time or cancelling as soon as possible.
From last April to the end of February, 3,624 appointments have not been kept – which is already higher than the total of 3,584 in 2012/13.
The figures mean that GPs and nurses in the 12 practices spent more than 500 hours waiting for patients who never showed up. In other words, practice staff were kept waiting for around 22 days, or more than three weeks.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“These staggering figures show that thousands of patients could be seen more promptly if it wasn’t for people who can’t be bothered to turn up or tell the practice they’re unable to attend.
“The sooner we can see our patients, the sooner we can put their minds at rest by setting them on the road to treatment and recovery.
“It’s hard to count the human cost of the stress and suffering of patients kept waiting for appointments but it’s certain that no-show patients are costing the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds at a time when finances have never been more stretched.
“Yet, this is a problem that’s easily remedied. All people have to do is call their practice straight away if they have to cancel an appointment. A new appointment can then be made, and our practices can focus on treating other patients.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111