Costs of Appointments

John Rudkin made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

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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.

Yours faithfully

John Rudkin

Department of Health and Social Care

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