Missed Appointments – is charging for a consultation with your doctor the answer?

Regarding the level of missed appointments the surgery recently reported as follows as follows:

“We have just run a search on our system and during 1st October – 31st December there were 142 missed appointments, the appointments allocated could range from 10 minute slots up to 40 minute slots for a review.  So really it is a lot of wasted time for all – it would be really helpful to others if patients cancelled their appointments to allow other patients to re-book”.

According to an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a junior doctor from West Sussex recently advocated that patients should be charged £10 for GP appointments. Click here to read the report reproduced in PrimaryCareToday

Comments welcomed but please, if you can’t make your appointment, do the decent thing and let the surgery know so that it can be allocated to another patient.

4 comments to Missed Appointments – is charging for a consultation with your doctor the answer?

  • If you compare the cost of a consultation with a solicitor, or the call out charge for a plumber, then £10 seems a very small amount for an appointment with your GP.
    Would a £10 charge dramatically reduce the number of missed appointments, I doubt it.
    What would be interesting is to know in what age group are the most prolific offenders.

  • Irene

    How many of these missed appointments are by repeat offenders, to miss one appointment is careless but more than one is not acceptable, unless it has something to do with the illness of the person and a memory/ dementia problem even then there should be a family member or career involved.

    I wonder how charging would be enforced and would it put the receptionists at risk of abuse and would the offenders pay it anyway.

    Do the people who miss appointments get a letter ? If so it should warn them
    they could be removed from the practise if it happens again, and it it does they should struck off the list unless they pay a heavy charge say £25.

  • Jackie Kaldenberg

    VERY good idea! Agree with all the comments

  • Richard

    Perhaps all patients (except in very exceptional circumstances) should be fined a noticeable amount for missed appointments and it should be enforced by not allowing them to make further appointment until the fine has been paid.

    Any incidents of abuse of staff would be dealt with by removal of the abusive patient from the lists and, if appropriate, the police.

    I have been with this practice for more than 30 years and neither I, nor any of my family, have ever missed an appointment and I cannot see why anyone should, except in extreme circumstances.