Wasted Appointments – notice of new policy from 1st July 2016
Over the last six months we have experienced an increase in the number of DNAs or Did Not Attends for appointments with the GPs and Practice Nurses/Assistant Practitioner. A DNA is when you book an appointment and don’t turn-up. It is a wasted appointment. DNAs since January have exceeded 300 appointments, including over 100 with a GP. This is equivalent to several days’ worth of appointments with our doctors and nurses wasted.
DNAs are a problem because they make the waits for appointments longer for other patients and are a waste of scarce resources already under pressure. Although there is always plenty to do in the time DNAs take-up, these are appointment slots which could have been offered to another patient.
If you book an appointment and you are not able to attend please tell us straight away. Even if it’s last minute we can usually re-book an appointment, possibly with a patient who needs an Urgent appointment on the day. All DNAs are recorded on our Appointments system. If you DNA we note this in your records. Some patients repeatedly DNA appointments and we cannot sustain this impact on the practice.
From 1st July 2016 the practice policy on DNAs is changing: if you DNA any 3 appointments within any six month period we will send you a warning letter. If you continue to DNA appointments we will consider having you removed from our practice list, as is the policy with a number of other practices locally. We do this with the support of Hywel Dda University Health Board.
We accept that many patients will occasionally forget the odd appointment. We understand there may be valid reasons for this – tell us and we will know. If you miss an appointment, even if you don’t realise until afterwards, please tell us. We know some DNAs are unavoidable because of problems with public transport, for example. This policy is designed to tackle the repeated and habitual DNAs by a minority of patients.