Health bosses in Hull are increasingly concerned at the growing number of people missing hospital appointments.
Latest figures show 66,385 outpatient appointments at both Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill were missed in 2016 – an 8.4% rise to the previous year.
It is a growing concern for the Hospital Trust chiefs as budgets are tightening and costs are increasing.
Ellen Henderson, Head of Outpatients service at the Trust said:
“The cost of ‘did not attend (DNAs)’ is massive but the issue is not unique to hospitals … As well as the financial cost, DNAs also make the whole service less efficient.”
Hospitals in Hull say they are working hard to improve patients’ experiences by offering a number of services including a text message reminder, which is a visual prompt, and a cancellation service which means that people on waiting lists can be given earlier appointments.
Mrs Henderson added;
“It creates a knock on affect for other patients who are also on the same waiting list.”
GPs at the Bridge Group Practice in Orchard Park also commented that they have had people ring up and struggle to get an appointment. A spokesperson said;
“If they ring up at 8.30am you are more likely to be seen sooner.”
The new poster campaigns are used as an awareness tool to visually inform people how many people have missed appointments and how much that would cost the departments. But are people taken notice.
Neil Coltrane, 43, a frequent patient at Hull Royal Infirmary, said:
“In the past I have missed appointments due to issues getting to them, I now know that there is a free ambulance service which I can call and get aid to my appointments.”