Up to one in five patients is regularly missing GP appointments in Scotland, new research reveals.
The study findings from researchers from Lancaster, Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities was published in The Lancet Public Health journal. Several findings were drawn:
- Poorer patients living in affluent areas were the most likely to miss a GP appointment.
- “No-showers” tended to be aged 16 to 30, or older than 90.
- There is no centrally collected data on the total number of GP appointments or how many of them are missed.
- The study found 19% of patients missed more than two appointments in a three-year period.
- Those appointments that were booked two or three days in advance were more likely to be missed than those made two weeks in advance.
- Social deprivation was the biggest predictor.
The Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales, Dr Paul Myres recently appeared on BBC Radio Wales to give opinion and insight into this study of more than 500,000 people.
Dr Myres places a welsh context to the study, outlines some of the challenges of missed appointments and some practical methods that could enable a decline in DNA (Did Not Attend) rates.