Patients failing to turn up for their appointments has cost the NHS in Lincolnshire over £6M a new report has revealed.
The study, which was undertaken by medical watchdog Healthwatch Lincolnshire, discovered that a staggering 33 per cent of patients simply forgot they had an appointment with their GP.
However, Una Quinn community engagement officer for the group said deterrence’s such as fining patients who did not attend was not the answer.
She said: “A lot of people may have medical issues such as mental health conditions, meaning through no fault of their own they are unable to face the world on the day of their appointment.”
The main reasons people gave for missing appointments were due to transport and appointment times. 56 per cent of people who said they missed appointments were between the ages of 50 and 89 and Una said more support needed to be provided for vulnerable people in this age bracket.
“There are lots of different things that could be offering older patients different appointment times, how are they getting to the surgery? Do they need transport provided? These are all things we are considering.”
Despite this patients are being urged to keep to their appointments the best they can. Una said: “everyone has the right to good healthcare but with every right that we have, we have a responsibility. It is your responsibility to make your appointments wherever possible or cancel that appointment so it can become available for others.”