Dr Zuhair Zarifa Chair Newham Clinical Commissioning Group and GP says missed appointments cost us all


- Credit: Archant

You can save the NHS £160.

We know that everyone leads busy lives and sometimes we miss or forget things.

But on behalf of all health services in Newham, I’m asking everyone in the borough to make sure they attend GP and hospital appointments, or contact us in advance if they know they won’t be able to attend.

There are lots of patients who need to see a clinician and letting us know if you can’t make your appointment helps to free up precious NHS resources and ensures we can see as many people as possible. Thirteen per cent of patients miss their hospital appointments and this costs the NHS £160 every time.

There is a contact telephone number on your appointment letter to call if you need to cancel your appointment.

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By phoning up and cancelling or rearranging any appointments you can’t attend, you could be helping someone else who really needs to see a clinician.

Patients who miss an appointment and don’t let the hospital know may be referred back to their GP to discuss what to do next.

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Recently, because of the number of people waiting for a hospital appointment, the local hospital trust, Barts Health, has changed its policy on appointments.

This means that anyone who misses or cancels their appointment twice may also be referred back to the care of their GP.

GPs, including myself, are committed to finding ways to make it easier for people to see their family doctor – we’ve extended opening hours and are looking to technology to make booking an appointment easier – but we need our patients to do their bit too.

Please remember that every time you miss a GP appointment patients who are in genuine need of help have to wait longer.

We’re always keen to see as many people as possible, but people who don’t notify their practice when they are unable to make an appointment prevent this from happening.

If you need urgent care outside normal GP opening hours, the Newham out-of-hours GP cooperative service is there for you. Call it on 020 7511 8880 and someone will direct you to the best service for your condition.

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