A new campaign urging Wirral residents to ‘Keep It or Cancel It’ in regards to their scheduled GP appointments has been rolled out.
A product of the Wirral GP commissioning consortium, this new push aims to reduce the number of slots that are missed without explanation. Wirralglobe.co.uk says the number of unkept appointments can amount to an entire clinic per week.
Dr John Oates, a Wirral GP and chairman of the consortium, highlighted that patients, doctors, nurses and various members of NHS staff are affected by missed appointments, which cost the health service around £700 million every year.
Though the emphasis has to be on getting patients to attend their appointments or cancel with plenty of notice, the consortium may also wish to give them a little helping hand along the way.
For instance, many surgeries around the country have an SMS notification service which reminds the patient of their upcoming visit to the GP. The practice could send a text to the subject in question and make it easier for them to recall when, where and why they were seeing a health professional.
As reported by connectingforhealth.nhs.uk, Blackheath Medical Centre on the Wirral actually send emails and texts instead of letters when encouraging people to visit their surgery for a flu jab.
Dr Oates went on to state: “An empty seat in a waiting room means time lost for somebody else who could have been seen for medical advice or treatment. We know there can be good reasons why people can’t make their appointment.
“We are asking everybody to take those few minutes to cancel their appointment if they can’t make it.”