Dear Department of Health,
Reducing the costs of notification of NHS appointments and of missed appointments
At Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the current annual cost of notification/confirmation of appointments to patients are reported to be about £150,000 in postage alone, i.e. excluding the costs of office hours and stationery, and about 40,000 appointments are being missed ("DNA"), with a Trust-estimated "opportunity cost" of the lost income of about £100 per attendance or about £4million per year,
Considerable savings and other benefits could be attainable if steps were taken, where agreed with patients, to set up a system for the sending by email of appointment notifications, and for subsequent two-way commununication, including, for example, by the Trust: advices about postponements, and reminders near the actual dates of appointments, and by patients: notification of inability to keep an appointment.
I shall be grateful if you would please advise me of any progress made on these matters within the NHS.
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