Out-patients: Attendance

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Dobbs Lord Dobbs Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord O'Shaughnessy on 19 March (HL6008), why the information surrounding the cost of missed appointments at hospital out-patient services is not collected centrally.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There is no national performance standard for missed appointments and, as stated in my answer of 19 March, the information is not collected centrally. However, this is an issue which the Minister of State for Health (Stephen Barclay) has asked Departmental officials to consider.

Costs associated with hospital appointments are determined by a range of locally determined factors including appointment duration, the workforce requirement and the clinical complexity of each appointment. This ensures out-patient services meet the needs of patients and these will differ across the country.

National Health Service staff are able to use time resulting from missed appointments productively, however. This may include undertaking a variety of additional tasks including support to other patients, or spending time on personal development and training.

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