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£3million wasted in Leicester City each year by patients missing their GP appointment

We would now like all Leicester City residents to help us take action.

In Leicester City, over £3 million of NHS resources are wasted each year by patients not attending their GP appointment. Not only is it a misuse of taxpayers’ investment but it means that 110,000 appointments each year that could have been given to someone else.

When patients report that they are unable to get an appointment at their practice, it is clear that the problem of missed appointments needs to be solved. Practices have been trying for some time to minimise non-attendances by sending text reminders and making contact by letter with those that frequently don’t attend appointments.

We would now like all Leicester City residents to help us take action.

If you find you no longer need your appointment contact your practice as soon as possible to let them know. You can do this by telephone, but ideally not first thing in the morning when practices are at their busiest. Even better would be to register at your practice for online services so you will be able to book and cancel appointments online at any time.

It is important to think carefully about whether you need a GP appointment in the first place. Local pharmacists are very knowledgeable about which medicines are best to treat minor illnesses and whether they will conflict with any existing medication you are taking. Such medicines can also be bought much more cost effectively over the counter than the cost of obtaining them on prescription. Pharmacies are open at convenient times, including evenings and weekends, and you don’t need an appointment.

People often also believe they need to see a GP for antibiotics to treat viral infections such as coughs and colds. Antibiotics are ineffective on viral conditions and overuse of them risks patients becoming resistant.

If you are unsure whether you need a GP appointment or not, you are advised to call NHS 111 for advice. They are open 24 hours a day and in some circumstances can even book an appointment for you if they decide you need one.

Source: NHS Digital. Between November 2017 and May 2018 64,000 appointments were classified as ‘did not attend (DNA)’ in Leicester City. Over 12 months this is estimated to be 110,000 appointments per year. According to NHS England, the average costs of a GP appointment is £30.

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