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Out-patients: Attendance

Health written question – answered on 10th September 2013.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS for each patient who does not attend a booked appointment without cancelling in (a) GP surgeries and (b) clinics;

(2) how many patients did not attend appointments in the NHS without cancelling in advance in each of the last five years;

(3) what the estimated cost to the NHS was of missed appointments, without patients cancelling in advance, in each of the last five years;

(4) what discussions he has had with NHS England on ways to minimise the financial loss and time wasted by patients not attending appointments.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

No estimates have been made centrally of the cost to the national health service of missed appointments (Did Not Attends) in general practitioner (GP) surgeries or clinics.

The information available on missed outpatient appointments in England is shown in the following table. Information is not collected on the number of patients who miss appointments in GP surgeries.

The Department and NHS England have not discussed missed appointments. Local NHS organisations make their own arrangements for preventing and dealing with missed appointments.

NHS out-patient Did Not Attends (DNA)
  First attendances DNA Subsequent attendances DNA Total DNAs
2008-09 1,430,296 4,090,929 5,521,225
2009-10 1,544,781 4,155,649 5,700,430
2010-11 1,589,611 4,138,620 5,728,231
2011-12 1,538,813 3,911,900 5,450,713
2012-13 1,595,078 3,926,450 5,521,528
Source: NHS England Quarterly Activity Return. Commissioner based

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