New reminder system to be set up by Hampstead hospital after 75,000 fail to attend their appointments
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
More than 75,000 patients missed an appointment at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital, new figures have shown.
During the course of 2010/11 the trust recorded a total of 668,639 booked appointments, but 77,350 patients (11.6 per cent) did not attend. In 2011/12 the missed appointment rate had dropped marginally to 10.7 per cent.
The figures were published ahead of a meeting of Camden Council’s health scrutiny committee last Tuesday.
The local authority had asked all six of the borough’s NHS Foundation Trusts to provide a report on whether there would be a saving on the cost of sending letters to patients by using text messages instead.
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According to the report submitted by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, around £1million could be saved if missed appointments were drastically reduced.
Results from an appointment text reminder pilot scheme showed a 2.4 per cent reduction in missed appointments, while another scheme which used a mixture of texts and reminder phone calls reduced missed appointments by 4.3 per cent.
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As a result, the trust says it is planning to introduce the new appointment reminder service in the near future.