Anyone can make a mistake, and we understand if patients miss an appointment as a result of mental health problems or failing memory. However, despite the successful introduction of our text message reminder service, far too many appointments remain missed and wasted. The jargon is DNA – ‘Did Not Attend’.
Repeated DNAs are antisocial behavior – they disadvantage other sick patients. We aren’t allowed to name, shame or fine offenders, but your Patient Participation Group fully supports a policy of warning inconsiderate patients and deregistering the very few who continue not to heed our requests. Patients who miss two appointments within 6 months are sent a warning letter and if this still continues they will be removed as a patient.
If you don’t intend to keep an appointment, please ring to cancel in good time, at least an hour before your appointment time in order that someone else can take your place. Even when the surgery is closed you can leave a message to cancel an appointment on 01484 500921 option 2.
It’s your responsibility to arrive in good time for an appointment – Reception may have a queue. If you check in late for an appointment, you have missed it! Time isn’t elastic, and accommodating a late arrival means that other patients will have their appointments hurried or delayed. If you arrive after your appointment was due to have started, you may have to book a new appointment or wait until the end of the surgery to be seen. The Doctor or Nurse will weigh up whether to inconvenience other patients by seeing you sooner. If they decide to respect your fellow patients booked appointments, you will be given the choice of booking another routine appointment, or contacting the NHS 111 service for further medical advice.
Patients who are habitually late for their appointments will receive a warning letter, after which they may be removed if they continue to show a lack of respect for the appointments arrangement and their fellow patients.
Whilst sometimes surgeries can run late due to a patient needing more time with more complex or emergency need, the receptionist will endeavor to keep you informed of this delay and rearrange your appointment for you if that is more convenient. We ask that you respect this arrangement that at some point you or a family member may benefit from.