Approximately 50 appointments per month are classified as ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) - i.e. the patient did not turn up for the appointment and did not contact the surgery in advance to cancel/change appointment. The effects of this are:
- An increase in the waiting time for appointments
- Frustration for both staff and patients
- A waste of resources
- A potential risk to the health of the patient
It is important that any DNA policy is agreed as a practice and patients are made aware of the policy and the reason for implementing. Whilst it is important to be consistent, there will always be exceptions on an individual case-by-case basis.
The policy can be conveyed by notices in the waiting room, as well as a copy of the system on the surgery website. It should also be discussed by the patient participation group (PPG), as their support is important in supporting the process.
If a patient fails to attend a pre-booked appointment on 3 occasion(s) in the space of 12 months, an informal warning letter will be sent to the patient, advising them that a further occurrence could risk removal from the practice.
If the patient fails to attend another appointment, the matter will be discussed at a practice meeting and a majority agreement will be reached as to whether the patient will be removed from the practice list. In this case a formal warning letter will be issued.
Warning letters are valid for a period of 12 months. Removal based on warnings greater than 12 months old will be invalid – in this case a further formal warning and period of grace will be required.
Due to an increase in the number of wasted appointments through patients failing to attend appointments without informing the surgery, it has become necessary to implement the following policy:
If you repeatedly fail to attend appointments you may be removed from this practice list and required to find an alternative doctor.
If you cannot attend your appointments for any reason please let us know as soon as possible, giving at least 24 hours notice. We can then offer the appointment to someone else.
Thank you for your co-operation
DUE TO THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS FAILING TO ATTEND APPOINTMENTS, IT MAY BE THAT YOU ARE NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THE DOCTOR ON THE DAY THAT YOU WISH TO.