Cranbrook Medical Centre renews warning over de-registering ‘irresponsible’ patients

PUBLISHED: 06:55 14 January 2018

Cranbrook medical practice. Ref mhc 8944-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Cranbrook medical practice. Ref mhc 8944-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

More than 150 missed appointments within two months have prompted Cranbrook Medical Centre’s to renew a warning over de-registering ‘irresponsible’ patients.

In February 2017 the Herald reported that the centre had been ‘forced’ to take action to reduce the volume of missed appointments, in order to meet demand.

It warned patients that failure to attend an appointment could result in de-registration.

But the centre has now reported 94 instances in November and 64 in December, where people had made appointments but failed to turn up to.

The centre said this was preventing patients in genuine need of seeing a doctor to secure a timely appointment.

Ray Bloxham – Devon county councillor and secretary of the Medical Practice Patients Participation Group – said there was ‘absolutely no excuse for this wholly irresponsible behaviour’.

Cranbrook Medical Centre sends a confirmation text to patients at the time of booking and a reminder on the day prior to the appointment.

“All they have to do is contact the practice so that the slot can be made available to someone else who needs it,” said Mr Bloxham.

“Depriving fellow patients in need of medical attention of the opportunity to see the doctor in this way is selfish and inappropriate”.

The centre says there were fewer instances of failing to get an appointment than there were of missed appointments.

Therefore, the problem could be reduced if patients ‘behaved more responsibly’ and cancelled appointments they couldn’t attend.

Patients have been reminded again that if they continue to miss appointments without letting the practice know, they will run the risk of de-registration.

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