Missed Hampshire GP appointments cost region’s NHS more than £3.5m
HAMPSHIRE residents failing to attend GP appointments are costing the NHS millions of pounds.
Data provided by NHS England about different clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) showed that between April 2020 and February 2021 in South Eastern Hampshire, covering Havant and surrounding area, 55,969 appointments were missed which constitutes six per cent of all appointments at an estimated cost of a whopping £1,679,070 to the NHS.
With each missed appointment estimated to cost the NHS on average around £30 it’s a similar story for the region’s other CCGs.
In Fareham and Gosport CCG 36,807 patients - five per cent - failed to turn up for a pre-arranged doctor’s appointment costing an estimated £1,104,210.
Portsmouth patients have proven to be more reliable with a total of 24,851 missed appointments which constitutes three per cent. However this is still believed to have cost an estimated £745,530 in wasted resources.
This means a total of 117,627 GP appointments have been missed at an estimated cost of £3,528,810 to the region’s NHS.
It’s a situation replicated across the country with 9.6 million appointments having been missed – almost one in every 25 appointments offered. This is equates to a cost to the NHS £288m.
Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘GPs and our teams have been working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure GP services are available, as well as playing a leading role in delivering the Covid vaccination programme.
‘We would urge patients who no longer need their appointment to contact their surgery at the earliest possible opportunity so that valuable GP time can be used for the benefit of other patients.’
Research throughout the pandemic has shown an increasing reluctance of patients to book or attend medical appointments through concerns of either contracting Covid or burdening the NHS.
However Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s primary care medical director, said: ‘Everyone should continue to attend their medical appointments - including for screening and immunisations – as there are strict measures in place to keep patients safe.
‘If you are unable to attend for any reason, our message is clear, please let us know so your appointment can be filled by another patient who may need it.’