Burton’s Queen’s Hospital has revealed that patients missing their appointments have cost the NHS Trust that runs it almost £600,000 in the past two years alone.
The hospital has since introduced a text message service which sends patients a reminder five days in advance of their appointment in a bid to rid itself of such staggering and somewhat preventable financial loss. Burton patients are prompted to reply to the texts and get in touch with the relative hospital department to rearrange for a more convenient time.
Each missed appointment costs the Trust around £10, meaning that the 5,850 cases of missed appointments in two years racked up a total cost of £585,000, burtonmail.co.uk reports.
Hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries across the country are being urged to introduce text message alerts, after the NHS revealed a missed appointment cost of £162 million annually. NHS England estimated that around seven million people miss a hospital outpatient appointment every year.
These figures mean that surgeries lose the equivalent of a GP every week, mirror.co.uk reports.
A spokesman from the Burton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We understand that some missed appointments cannot be avoided, however we would encourage patients who know they are unable to make an appointment to contact the relevant department with as much notification as possible.”