Top health MP urges hospitals to crack down on missed sessions

Paige Howitt

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A HEALTH minister is urging hospital trusts to come up with new ways to tackle the number of people who miss appointments.

The message comes from MP Simon Burns, who said NHS figures for South Central show last year out of 3,491,132 outpatient appointments, 7.7 per cent of patients did not attend.

This compares to 8.7 per cent of patients out of 3,815,786 outpatient appointments not attending in 2009/10.

Mr Burns said: ‘I’m pleased the number of missed appointments in the NHS has gone down in the last year.

‘It’s important people realise that not turning up for their agreed appointments, means other patients’ care might be delayed and doctors and nurses’ time could be wasted, costing taxpayers money.

‘Today we are highlighting the number of missed appointments so people can see the impact this is having on their NHS.’

As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust started a text reminder service which has seen a drop in the number of people missing appointments.

In 2008/09, Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham – saw around 3,300 people miss appointments. The trust said this figure has since fallen.