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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Skates highlights missed GP appointments

MORE than 300 hours of medical appointments were missed in just three months at GP surgeries across Clwyd South, Assembly Member Ken Skates has revealed.

Labour AM Ken Skates has established there were at least 1,903 ‘DNAs’ – instances where patients did not attend – at the practices in his constituency between October 1 and December 31.

He is now urging patients to either keep their allotted slots or cancel in good time to avoid wasting GPs’ time and costing the NHS money.

Mr Skates said: “Based on an average appointment being 10 minutes, these missed slots amount to more than 317 hours, which would mean that almost 40 eight-hour working days have been lost in just three months by patients not turning up or letting their surgery know that they won’t be coming.

“Those who fail to keep their appointments are simply adding to the strain on staff and NHS resources. They also prevent other people from getting medical attention when they don’t even inform the surgery they can’t make it and doctors’ and nurses’ valuable time goes begging.”

Llangollen Health Centre, which has branch surgeries in Acrefair and Glyn Ceiriog, has about 9,000 patients and recorded 628 DNAs.

Forge Road Surgery in Southsea, which has a branch surgery in Brymbo, has 6,500 patients and recorded 667 DNAs over the same period. Chirk Surgery had 222 missed slots, while Caritas Surgery – which has premises in Cefn Mawr and Coedpoeth – had 173.

The actual number of missed appointments is even higher than 1,903, as three surgeries did not supply their information. Some of those who responded also have appointment slots which are longer than 10 minutes, meaning the number of hours of DNAs will be even greater.

Mr Skates added: “Missed appointments cost the NHS tens of million pounds a year across Britain and its hard-working, dedicated staff are under enough pressure as it is without having their time wasted. I don’t think a simple, 30-second phone call is too much to ask.”

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