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MP calls for responsible use of NHS

 Published on: 30th April 2018   |   By: Ryan Gray   |   Category: Uncategorized

Member of Parliament for Watford Richard Harrington MP has urged for people in the town to use health services responsibly.

Following a freedom of information request it has revealed that people not attending outpatient appointments is costing Watford General Hospital over £2m a year.

The FOI request, submitted by MyWatfordNews revealed the shocking statistics that 29,931 appointments were missed at the hospital last year, around 2,500 every single month, resulting in a bill of £2,067,769.

Richard Harrington MP said: “Appointment no-shows cost the NHS a lot of money each year. That’s why I would encourage local residents to use the health service responsibly, and stick to their appointment, so that we can make sure that the very best care is readily available for everyone who needs it. 

“I’m pleased that there are now more doctors and nurses available at the end of a phone to give advice and guidance to users of the 111 service.”

The NHS used the statistics as an opportunity to remind people of how important it is that resources are not wasted through people missing appointments.

In an online pamphlet, the NHS discussed the importance of letting doctors or nurses know how if they cannot attend an appointment.

The bigger picture suggests that nationally an average of 13 million people do not attend appointments every year. With each DNA appointment costing the NHS around £70, they could be costing the NHS as much as £897m per annum. 

Director of performance for West Hertfordshire hospitals Jane Shentall said: “We know that people have busy lives so we have processes in place to help patients remember their appointments. 

“We contact patients who have signed up to our text alert system in advance of their appointment to remind them of the time and date and we have clear instructions in all our letters. 

“Our hospital resources are precious so everyone should do their best to attend appointments.”

Costs are down since new technology specifically designed to combat the problem was introduced in 2014, when each missed appointment was thought to cost the NHS £108.

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