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Should you be fined for missing a GP appointment?

It’s thought that £162 million is lost each year through missed GP appointments.

A poll of more than 500 UK people found that nearly 70% were willing to accept a fine of up to £10 for a missed GP appointment. The average GP appointment costs the NHS an estimated £18.

Just 29% of respondents said they would not be prepared to pay anything for a missed appointment.

In addition, research suggests there are 23 percent fewer missed appointments if patients are sent a text message reminding them of their appointment.

What are your views?

Would you ever miss a doctors appointment without notifying your GP surgery? Do you receive a text from your GP reminding you of a pending appointment?  Would you be prepared to pay a fine for a missed appointment?

 

Should you be fined for missing a GP appointment?

312 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes - I think a fine is acceptable No - I don't think a fine is reasonable

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

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BrumEJ43
8th Sep 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Can someone advise me please how the cost of a missed appointment is calculated?
I believe GP's are paid for their services, however many patients they see, - or am I incorrect?
Cariad66
15th Mar 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
In most areas you have to book weeks, if not, months in advance.
When you book, you are given a particular time and then sometimes wait over an hour to see the doctor. So NO.
scandiman
1st Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Completely agree. However, it works both ways. How often are appointments cancelled or delayed? They don't like it if you are late, but sometimes keep you waiting a long time after your appointment. In my town, getting an appointment is almost impossible. I know of one elderly person who couldn't get an appointment and was told to come in and wait. She was seen after waiting over 3 hours. In a town of 27,000 people, our walk-in centre closed. Nearest hospital 17 miles. Next nearest 22 miles, with poor access by public transport.
sunflower14
29th Feb 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
I totally support imposing a fine on patients who miss Gp appointments, especially if they don't have the courtesy to phone the receptionists, so that appointment can be given to another patient! I find the text message reminder a terrific service, I do keep a note of any appointments (very few thank goodness) My practice has only 3 Gps, both lady doctors retired last year, and the partners have had no success in recruiting new doctors, so it can be a 2wk wait to see one of the 3 doctors, but it's happening all over the UK,
Speeednet
28th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
That is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the money lost through people not entitled to care, being given totally free medical treatment. We are a joke in this country, too trusting and naive. People fly in from all over the World to take advantage of our stupidity.
jeanmark
14th Mar 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
Not entirely accurate but a view many will have you believe.
Silver Belle
14th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
As long as there is some common sense involved and GP can use his discretion to waive it. There are some elderly and vulnerable people who may not be able to remember or make contact themselves and a fine would just add to their problems. But that aside it must go across the board and not exempt those on benefits.
shirleyann
12th Feb 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
There is no excuse for missing a appointment, as there are so many ways of contacting the surgery. Unless you collapse on the way to your appointment that is,appointments are like gold dust these days, it's just that some people are so thoughtless and selfish.
marydennis
12th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
As an NHS receptionist it is infuriating to DNA (did not attend) a patient. In particular as patients are sent texts/reminder letters to turn up. Many clinics are desperate for patient slots, which inevitably means overbooking some clinics, which in turn generates irritate patients who have a longer wait to see their doctor. Selfishly disregarding wasted tax payers money, clinic appointment slots, staff and other patients does no one any favours; so a fine wholly appropriate.
celtwitch
11th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I once travelled 150 miles to a consultation with a specialist; he wasn't there, he wasn't in the hospital and he wasn't even in the country!
So, like Gloria Estefan's bread knife, it cuts both ways!
Speeednet
15th Mar 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
How about bringing back the stocks? Pelting them with rotten fruit and animal droppings would work.
BirdofParadise
11th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
If you have just not turned up and not bothered to phone in with a reason beforehand yes you should be liable for a fine. It is bad manners.You would be surprised at the number of people who are so thoughtless. Time is money and maybe someone more needy could have had your appointment. Dentists operate this system why not doctors. I would never dream of not turning up for an appointment unless I was ill ect but would have the good manners to let the surgery know.
celtwitch
11th Feb 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
How about thrashing those that fail to turn up for their doctor appointments, half time at the local football club would be a suitable place and time? Then the miscreants could be booed and hissed out of the ground and into obscurity.
They wouldn't do it again, would they?
JinxB
11th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
as most people today have a phone and or a computer it is not difficult for the surgery to send a text reminder or e mail to remind you, bearing in mind you sometimes have to book appointments several days if not weeks in advance, my dentist can manage to do it, but my doctor says its to complex. does any one know of a doctors that does?
BirdofParadise
11th Feb 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I don't see why reminders should be sent out. I have a calendar with every appointment written on it. I am intelligent enough to organise my life that I don't inconvenience someone else.
shirleyann
12th Feb 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
Exactly, well said
barge
10th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Have just attended our surgery, the message on the screen read: in the last month 13 missed appointments per day!!!!!!!!!!!

The only way to make people aware that they have missed an appointment would be to levy a fine.
celtwitch
11th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
The best way to avoid missing your doctor appointment is, don't make one, and don't get ill.
thefilthycripple
10th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I am all in favour of stopping time wasters clogging up our overworked GP's . Just an aside the NHS should not be so flippant with our time .When I go to the eye hospital I always book the first appointment at 8.30am ,they do not open the doors until 8.45 am then I have to register my arrival ,no Doctor ever arrives before 9 am so they are running 30 minutes lace b fore they start ! By mid morning you are guaranteed to be waiting an hour after your appointment !
celtwitch
10th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Given that appointments invariably run late, you actually do them a favour by not turning up. One day I waited 50 minutes beyond my appointment time and then simply walked out, no-one rang to ask what happened, so I guess they didn't even miss me. Not showing up allows them to fast forward to the next patient and make up some time.
BirdofParadise
11th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
at my surgery we are asked to check with reception if we have waited mor than 20 minutes over time. I certainly would not have sat there for that amount of time.
jeanmark
14th Mar 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Not the answer one would expect. My surgery encourages people to ask if they have been waiting more than 20 mins for the receptionist to enquire if there is a problem. On one occasion my GP was late because the person in before me had collapsed and they were kindly trying to save their life, fortunately I asked after 20 mins if there was a problem and they transferred me to another GP, yes all appointments were running over time but at least we lived!
HEAPUS
10th Feb 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
My wife works in a local surgery ,she says people would rightly be appalled at the number of missed appointments ,particularly repeat offenders who seem to think the NHS is solely for them and nobody else matters.
JohnHerb
9th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
YES no question no-shows should be fined. The comments from Kes below justify that. People who no-show are very selfish and a few good fines-I would suggest £50 fines would soon stop this nonsense...
Kes
9th Feb 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
At the beginning of each month, my GP surgery put a notice on the waiting room wall showing the number of missed appointments for the previous month. When I have had occasion to visit, I am quite staggered by the numbers. Not the odd 20 or 30, which is bad enough, but sometimes the figure can be well over 100, sometimes over 200. So YES, there should be some kind of financial penalty imposed of the wasters. A significant sum that would certainly make them think twice before doing it again. How difficult is it, and how long does it take, to pick up the phone to cancel. My surgery actually operate a specific text only line for people to cancel unwanted appointments. All you have to do is text your name, date of birth, date and time of appointment and who it is with. Job done! Someone else gets the opportunity to get that appointment slot, thus reducing the number of complaints from patients saying they can't get an appointment. The knock on effect is obvious. So very often it is not the fault of the GP's or the surgery staff, but it is the fault of very irresponsible selfish people who don't think it matters. I have now jumped off my soap box.
JohnHerb
9th Feb 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
They are amazing statistics and if thats indicative of the UK we are wasting huge amounts of time and we should defiantly have fines for no-shows
Alicia
10th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
It is the same at my surgery, there are always at least 200 wasted appointments every month because people do not turn up.
Hattie
9th Feb 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Yes people should be find for just not turning up.
Given that in a lot of cases people have to wait a week or more to see their own Dr. it's just not right that some people on the appointment list just don't bother to cancel so, someone who needs to see their Dr. could maybe see their Dr. sooner.
Wilf
9th Feb 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Yes people should defiantly be fined for not turning up. Its just not acceptable not to turn up as doctors as busy enough as it is without time wasters. This would stop people not turning up and also being late. People should be told to arrive at least 20 minutes before their appointment.
JinxB
11th Feb 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
turning up 20mins before an appointment would just block the waiting area, most appointment times overrun by at least 30 mins so the average time spent at the surgery would increase to an hour, it would be better as I said previously if the surgery sent a reminder text and when you are in the surgery they could use the text screen to let you know how long the delay is for timed appointments, it is reeally frustrating to be there on time and then wait for 30 mins with no information on when you will be seen.
Alicia
9th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Yes they should be fined as they could have phoned to cancel the appointment if it was no longer needed. I have never wasted an appointment.
JohnHerb
9th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree with you. Likewise I always turn up early

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