Failure to attend appointments


Over 400 of our patients are still failing to attend or cancel their appointments each month. Whilst some patients do telephone the Practice to cancel, this is often done within minutes of the consultation start time and is therefore too late for the appointment to be offered to someone else. With an ever-increasing demand from patients for an appointment, the Practice has implemented a policy regarding missed appointments, for the overall benefit of all our patients.


Triggers for action:

  • Where a patient fails to attend either an ‘on the day’ appointment in the emergency clinic, or two routine appointments within a three month period, without satisfactory explanation, an initial warning letter will be sent, with a copy of this policy enclosed. This will highlight that those who fail to attend their appointments may be removed from the Practice List.
  • Where a patient fails to attend another appointment within 2 months of the initial warning letter, the matter will be considered at a meeting by the Practice Partners. In the absence of any extenuating circumstances, arrangements will be made to remove the patient’s name from the Practice List. Accordingly, a letter will be sent to the patient, advising them that they are being removed from the Practice List.

Patients should be aware that failure to cancel an appointment at least 30 minutes prior to the appointment time will be recorded as a missed appointment for the purposes of this policy, on the basis that the appointment can’t be readily offered to another patient and is therefore a ‘wasted’ appointment. Please note that same day cancellation of appointments should be made in person or by telephone, and not by email.

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