During August 2017, 88 patients did not attend the practice for scheduled appointments at a cost to the NHS of £4,048.
When patients do not arrive, (DNA), they miss an appointment
Most of our Patients know it can sometimes be difficult to get a routine appointment with a GP or Nurse. One thing that makes this more difficult is the problem of DNAs. Where Patients have been declined routine appointments because the consultations are fully booked, it is at best disappointing when one of those booked appointments does not turn up and has not contacted the Practice to cancel the appointment so that it can be released for others or telephones so late as to make it impossible to allocate to another Patient.
In 2016, there were 1257 such DNAs - with either GPs or Nurses and, in some cases, double appointments at specialist clinics. This is the equivalent of 7 full days of missed clinical appointments.
A DNA occurs when an appointment is not attended and the Patient has not contacted the Practice in advance to cancel it or where the cancellation is so late as to make it impossible to allocate that time to another Patient who needs treatment. The Practice will code this DNA and this will prompt a retrospective check on the number of DNAs recorded against that person.
Where this is the first occasion, a code added to patient’s medical record. and a letter sent to the patient.
Where this is the second occasion, a further code will be added to the patient’s notes. The Patient will be sent a formal warning letter that if a further appointment is DNA’d, they could be at risk of compromising their relationship with the Practice and being removed from the practice. Warning letters are valid for 12 months.
Where a third DNA has occurred, the Practice will consider this a consistent failure of the patient to adhere to our Practice policy which constitutes a breakdown between the Patient and the GP and the patient will be removed from the list.
HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A DNA
If you cannot attend or no longer need an appointment, please ring us in advance.
Mistakes do happen and the Practice understands that appointments can be forgotten about or overlooked. In such cases, the Practice will take into account the reason given by Patients.
Preference, of course, is for the Practice to know in advance so we can offer the appointment(s) to other Patients in need.
RING THE SURGERY SHOULD YOU NEED TO CANCEL
What We As A Practice Are To Doing To Reduce DNAs
We are reminding the general public what our policy is and we feel that it is important to enforce it robustly.
It has been suggested and discussed with the Health & Social Care Board that the Practice puts in place a system to improve services for Patients. We are currently reviewing our emergency appointments and routine appointments availability. Here is what we will endeavour to do to help you not become a DNA:-
We will always print appointment details for Patients who make an appointment face to face at our reception desk. Our appointment slips contain our text telephone number should Patients need to cancel (even at short notice).
If you make an appointment over the telephone, we would suggest that Patients’ record/document the date and time in a way that can be easily accessed – in a diary, on a calendar or for the more technically minded on a mobile phone. Our staff are trained to repeat all appointment details and clarify understanding with Patients at the time of making the appointment.
KEEP IT OR CANCEL IT!
SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS THE APPOINTMENT!
To help us improve the system and make available 1503 appointments this year for Patients to book routinely, please adhere to our Practice Policy.