Search

Revealed: Huge bill for missed appointments at Northwick Park and Central Middlesex hospitals

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 May 2016

Our investigation has revealed the staggering scale of missed appointments at local hospitals. Graphic: Patrick Baker/Archant

Our investigation has revealed the staggering scale of missed appointments at local hospitals. Graphic: Patrick Baker/Archant

Archant

Northwick Park, St Mark’s and Central Middlesex hospitals are losing the equivalent of 208 nurses’ salaries every year because of people who don’t turn up for their appointments. EMMA YOULE finds out how the figures compare with the rest of the UK – and asks what can be done about the problem

Missed appointments: Northwick Park Hospital Missed appointments: Northwick Park Hospital

Patients who miss appointments at hospitals serving Brent are costing the cash-strapped NHS £9.5million a year, a Times investigation can reveal.

The huge scale of time and money wasted by patients who forget to turn up at Northwick Park, Central Middlesex and St Mark’s hospitals has been uncovered using a Freedom of Information request.

Every day 163 people miss routine outpatient appointments and do not contact the north west London hospitals to cancel, costing £160 for every no show.

The bill to the hospitals is a staggering £26,000 a day and the millions wasted annually would pay the salaries of 208 nurses every year.

Dr Ethie Kong, chair of Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, has appealed for the public's help to tackle the issue Dr Ethie Kong, chair of Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, has appealed for the public's help to tackle the issue

A spokesman for London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospitals, said: “People will often have genuine reasons for missing an appointment, but this can have a significant impact on NHS services.

“People who fail to cancel their appointments will delay the care provided to other patients and waste the time of doctors and nurses, which in turn costs the NHS money.”

The NHS is treating the issue seriously as missed appointments cost the health service at least £225million every year and have a knock-on effect on patient care.

The hospital trust says it is working to improve administration systems and is considering using technology, such as text message and automated-voice reminders, to reduce non-attendance.

How do local hospitals perform compared to others in London?

About one in 10 hospital outpatient appointments nationally are missed every year.

The Times looked at data from 11 hospitals in north and east London.

We found that all had non-attendance rates higher than 10 per cent.

At University College London Hospital in Camden, the rate was 10.5 per cent.

The figure at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Northwick Park, Central Middlesex and St Mark’s Hospitals, was 16 per cent.

The number of missed appointments is also on the rise.

All of the local hospitals, except for Central Middlesex, showed lower rates of attendance in 2014-15 than in the two previous years.

But the fault is not always the patients’, said one Northwick Park Hospital patient.

The 61-year-old retired housing officer from Cricklewood, who asked not to be named, missed an appointment because she was not informed about it.

The first she knew was when a letter arrived in the post chastising her for not turning up.

“I never got an appointment letter,” she said. “I’m sure it’s an error on their behalf because I have never missed an appointment in my life. The people at the hospital know me and joke ‘Why don’t you get a bed here’ because I’m always up and down there. So I was really upset.”

Health chiefs say a vast number of people simply forget to turn up for appointments.

This forces hospitals to overbook clinics and can lead to longer waiting times for other patients.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which oversees healthcare in the borough, called on the public to take the issue seriously.

Dr Ethie Kong, chair of Brent CCG, said: “If you can’t make it, do contact the relevant people or hospital department to cancel the appointment.

“If you don’t, you will delay care for other people while wasting staff time as well as scarce NHS resources.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

14:05

A Wembley mother who was spared jail for posting Islamic State propaganda on Facebook is to have her sentenced challenged by the Attorney General.

A man has admitted ploughing into two Brent police officers in a sports car, leaving one critically injured.

Yesterday, 19:05

Supermarket chiefs in Wembley are being served a notice to sort out persistent noise made in its car park following seven years of complaints by residents.

Yesterday, 18:40

An 86-year-old pensioner who went missing from Willesden has been found.

Yesterday, 16:19

Health chiefs in Brent are urging people to avoid going to hospital if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms in order to protect other patients.

Yesterday, 11:37

A Neasden motorist is appealing a fine claiming a ticket was issued when a “no right turn” sign was either not visible or missing in Queen’s Park.

Yesterday, 11:12

Environmental officers are investigating whether leaking paint during a devastating factory blaze has contaminated the Welsh Harp reservoir.

Tue, 16:53

Police are appealing for help in finding a missing 86-year-old woman from Willesden who has dementia.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Louise McGowan, who started as headmistress of Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in September, speaks to education editor James Scott about life at the school.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now