Government figures say that around 9% of Hospital outpatient appointments are 'missed', costing the NHS around £225 millon each year.
Usually it is the patient that gets the blame for 'forgetting' the appointment.
I was sat here earlier about 11:50, browsing on the computer, when I heard the leterbox.
Checking behind the door there was a letter with a Newcastle RVI return address.
I was expecting an appointment with my Neurologist in Feb/March so this was not unexpected.
However upon opening the letter I found that it was indeed the expected appointment, for 11:30 this morning!
Not having a TARDIS it would prove a bit difficult for me to get to Newcastle 20 minutes before I got the letter.
I would have been struggling to get there for 11:30 even with plenty of notice, it's a 5 hour journey from where I live and this is supposed to be noted on my records with them.
The letter was dated the 4th Jan. So assuming it was posted the next day (2nd class, 3 working days delivery) it would not have got to me until Monday at the earliest, rural location remember, giving at the most 2 days notice of the appointment.
When I phoned them to explain I was told that, yes it was noted on my file that my appointments should be in the afternoon because of the journey time.
But because I had not turned up by 12:00 the appointment had already been marked as "patient failed to attend".
So much for patients being to blame for 'forgetting' appointments.
PS. I've rearranged it; 14th June at 15:10.
I can get to that OK, but if they are running late as usual then its going to be pushing midnight by the time I get home.
(Just to explain why I go all that way for outpatient appointments- I see one of the leading neurological sleep specialists in the country for my IH, Dr Kirstie Anderson , and she is based at the Newcastle hospitals).