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 behaviour – 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.
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, the receptionist will need to know what you intended to discuss with the GP or nurse, in order that the doctor or nurse can weigh up whether to inconvenience other patients. 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. The receptionist will not redirect you to our duty clinician – they are busy enough already!