Over 7,000 no shows at appointments in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry
The Western Trust has confirmed that people failed to show up for appointments at Altnagelvin Hospital on a staggering 7,334 occasions last year.
The Trust warned that £1.5million has now been lost to health and social care due to people not attending their outpatient appointment in the Western Trust.
Of the 9,200 appointments missed across the whole western region last year, the vast majority - 7,334 - were at Altnagelvin Hospital.
There were also 415 ‘Did Not Attends’ at Roe Valley.
From January 1 to December 31, 2019, the total number of patients who did not attend their outpatient appointment, or failed to give staff sufficient notice to make the appointments available to other patients across the Western Trust area was 9,260.
Each missed appointment costs the Trust £170.
Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Hospitals for the Western Trust, said: “We understand that there are many genuine reasons why people are not able to make an appointment however, as these figures show, every missed appointment is a lost opportunity for someone else to be seen.
“The appointment slot is an actual time with a member of our clinical and nursing staff who are dedicated to patient care.
“Therefore, for 2020 we are asking for the public’s cooperation in reducing non-attendance for hospital outpatient appointments so that valuable resources and staff time is not wasted, as this will have a significant impact on already overstretched health service.”
Geraldine continued: “Where possible we would ask patients with an appointment to let the hospital know if they won’t be able to attend and to do this at the earliest opportunity and at least 24 hours beforehand.
“To help reduce non-attendance, the Trust has in place a system for booking outpatient appointments, where patients are given a choice of dates and times and they can select one that best suits them.
“Patients attending outpatient appointments across the Western Trust area receive a SMS text to their mobile phone or an automated voicecall to their landline, reminding them of their outpatient appointment one week prior to their appointment.”