South Scotland

Cost of missed NHS Borders appointments £1m-a-year

Blood pressure check Image copyright Thinkstock

NHS Borders has said the cost of missed appointments in the region amounts to a "staggering" £1m-a-year.

It said that although figures had fallen, the number of "did not attends" was still running at about 5%.

Nursing director Evelyn Rodger said there were many "genuine reasons" for missing an appointment but people should try to inform the health board.

She said that would give them the opportunity to reschedule and allow somebody else to attend.

As part of the campaign to drive down the number of missed appointments they are asking everyone to provide them with their most up to date contact details including a mobile phone number.

NHS Borders missed appointments 2015/16
Appointment type Number Average cost per appointment
Doctor-led 4,538 £169
Nurse-led 1,606 £26
Allied Health Professional 3,723 £66
Miscellaneous 109 £169
Total 9,976 £107

Leaflets are being included with appointment letters in order for that information to be supplied.

"It's important to remember that a missed appointment may also lead to you being referred back to your GP, potentially delaying your treatment time by up to 12 weeks," said Ms Rodger.

"We will continue to do everything we can to remind you of your appointment.

"If you can't make it then please just let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange to see you at a time that suits you and give your original appointment to someone else who is waiting."