British Lung Foundation
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There is a great problems in the health service with people missing appointments and just not bothering. I know it irritates me when I see the figures. It is being suggested that if we want an appointment we pay a deposit, which we would get back when we turn up.

What do you think, would it be practical, easy to be monitored. or should they just target the persistant people that miss appointments .

7 Replies

If I know I'm not going to be able to make an appointment, for whatever reason, I never fail to call and say so. I really can't understand people who make appointments then don't turn up without any forthcoming explanation whatsoever. It really winds me up !!

I'm not sure a cash deposit is a good idea though as this could deter people from making an appointment in the first place and perhaps missing a diagnosis on something serious.

As hospitals and doctors' surgeries know who the culprits are then perhaps these people could be targeted for a stiff telling off !!

My own gp's practice sends a text to those with mobile phones, reminding them of their appointmet date and time. A brilliant idea :)


This problem infuriates me too Jackie. We always have figures of the amount of people who have missed appointments without cancellation at my GPs and when I went to physio for rheumy the amount of wasted hours per physio was two weeks - can't remember over what period. So yes it is a big problem both for staff and for people in need of an appointment not being inable to get one.

It's a difficult one as I am sure these folks fall into different catagories. I have seen some elderly turn up at surgery to be told their appointment was yesterday. So it would not be fair to penalise in that case. Some peeps are very forgetful. However there are some who can't be bothered to pick up a 'phone if they no longer need to see the doc. Pretty selfish.

At my dentist the charge £40 pro rata for any missed appointments and can refuse to see them. I don't think that would work at docs as they really can't refuse an appointment as they pretty much have to see them.

As for paying a deposit, I do think it would not be practical and a clerical nightmare. Just thinking how this money would be collected and then returned: credit/debit card - not everyone has them: cheque or cash - older and/or infirm would have difficulty takeing it or posting it, either way incurring expence.

I don't think the many who keep their appointments should have to be put out. There needs to be a way of reducing this and I think the targeting of persistant non attenders is a good idea. However there should be discretion here with regard to those who have difficulties beyond their control.

Interesting question Jackie.

Love C xxx


This certainly is a problem that costs the NHS an awful lot of money.

To most of us, who would not dream of just not turning up to an appointment, a stiff telling off that elian suggested would be more than enough.

I am not so sure that this would have any impact on those who just dont bother to turn up or to cancel.

I had previously thought, as 'C' mentioned, as the dentist does, if you either don't turn up for an appointment or you cancel last minute without a valid reason, then you are charged for it, I think is a good idea.

Money is a great way to motivate people who dont have any sense of consideration for the time and money that is wasted, for the rest of us who could get earlier appointments if people did not just DNA (did not attend).

Perhaps a deposit is not the answer but a fine, I think is a very good idea. I did think about those who just would not pay, that is easy, you dont get another appointment until you have paid your fine.

That also has its problems, those who cant afford it - well, on a superficial level, it would motivate those not to DNA but then we have those who cant afford it but who have genuinely forgotten their appointment. Perhaps a fine system for repeat offenders, perhaps miss one, on notice, miss two, fined but fine will go away if you attend the third, miss the third, you get your second fine and you are then not given any further appointments until you have paid the fines you have accumulated

I am sure there are very big holes in my idea but there should be some system for those who are serial DNA's we all lose by people who do this and the resources are already stretched beyond what they should be



It really irritates me people not turning up for appointments, each month our surgery lists how many DNA happened and it makes me cross, how easy is one phone call. I'm all for a charge for DNAers.

Lib x


Through our Patient Participation Group's suggestion the surgery now texts/emails patients where possible the day before an appointment with a reminder.If they do not attend they are contacted the following day to ask why.This has reduced DNA's a lot.The surgery no longer shows how many appointments that have been missed but shows what extra services could be provided with the lost money through DNA's.It is working!


That sound like a good idea K. X


Down here we do get telephone reminders, they call a couple of days before with an automated system to remind you and get you to confirm you are going to attend

It is, very much a good idea


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