There is great pressure on appointment availability. National policy is to encourage patients to expect to be seen within 48 hours, or on the same day for more urgent problems.
As a practice we would like to reduce the rate of DNAs, by the use of education, a certain amount of pressure, and by considering the removal of those who persistently waste our time.
· To free up appointments for those who genuinely need them
· To reduce the waste of clinical time
· To reduce the pressure on all staff in being able to offer prompt appointments
A list of frequent non-attenders will be produced monthly and reviewed by the partners to identify any patients who should be excluded from the general policy, for reasons such as clinical memory problems.
If a patient has missed 2 consecutive appointments, or 3 in a year, they will receive a letter from the practice. One further DNA within 6 months of the first warning letter will result in a letter which will warn them of the risk of removal if no change is made. One further DNA will trigger a letter requiring attendance at an appointment with a named person to discuss their attendance record. Failure to make and keep this appointment within 14 days results in their name being put on the list of likely removals. In any event, one further DNA within 6 months will put their name on the “removal” list. Patient who are liable to be removed will be discussed at a practice meeting and one of the Partners will have the final decision and authorise the removal from the practice list.
What we do to try and help
If we have a patient's mobile telephone we do try and remind them of their appointment via text. This is why it is important to let us know if you have changed your mobile telephone number. If a patient DNA's an appointment after they have received a text, we will text them again to respectfully remind them to cancel their appointments if they are unable to attend.