Patients not turning up for appointments cost the NHS in Devon more than £4m this year.
So far this year in Devon, more than 30,000 people failed to turn up for their hospital appointment or were too late to be seen.
The no-show figure between January and June was 33,362 patients missing their outpatient consultant appointment without warning.
A missed appointment costs the NHS an estimated £120 each time and the total comes to just over £4m in the first half of this year. Patients from Northern, Eastern and Western Devon – covering North Devon, Exeter and Plymouth – missed 26,109 appointments – meaning 6% of all patients with an appointment were ‘no shows.’
In South Devon and Torbay, there were 7,253 missed appointments – a total of 6.1% missed. Put another way, roughly one patient in 17 across Devon is failing to turn up for their outpatient appointment and failing to call ahead to let the relevant hospital know. Last year Torbay Hospital and South Devon NHS trust started a text reminder service for patients due to attend Torbay Hospital and the community hospitals in the area.
David Crompton, Patient Access Centre Manager, said at the time: “Last year, more than 25,000 patients missed their hospital appointments. The cost of non-attendance at clinics is up to £170 per appointment, that’s approximately £4 million a year on missed appointments, which could have been spent on improving patient care.”