Hospital paying a heavy price for no-show patients

…each missed appointment at SWAH costs £170
PATIENTS not showing up to their appointments at SWAH are costing the hospital tens of thousands each month. 
In fact, the hospital could have employed at least a dozen extra nurses with the money lost on patients not showing up in just a handful of months this year. Between April and October, a total of 2041 people did not attend or cancelled on the day of their appointment at SWAH. At a cost of £170 per missed appointment, that is a loss of almost £350,000 to the hospital in just seven months. 
While that number is down on last year, showing some are definitely getting the message, it is still a significant cost to an already stretched health budget.
“The cooperation of the public is essential to reduce non-attendance for hospital outpatient appointments,” said a spokesman for the Western Trust. “There may be good reasons why people are not able to make an appointment and the Trust acknowledges that on occasions it may have to reschedule a clinic, for example if an essential staff member is sick. 
“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.”
They added: “As part of its attempts to reduce non-attendance, the Trust has in place a system for booking outpatient appointments where patients are given a choice of dates and times of clinics so a time to best fit their schedule can be arranged. 
“Patients attending outpatient appointments across the Western Trust area receive a SMS text or an automated voicecall to their landline, reminding them of their outpatient appointment one week prior to their appointment. The Trust has also been alerting people to the numbers of missed appointment by publicising non-attendance figures in outpatient areas.”

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