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NHS Tayside Urging for Patients to Reduce Missed Appointments

Teleconsultations with doctors are ‘worse but more convenient’

NHS Tayside is asking patients to help them reduce the number of missed appointments after a marked increase in missed appointments.

Over the last week, 10% of appointments made with NHS Tayside have been missed, totalling in 1,846 DNA’s (did not attend).

Dr Pamela Johnston, Operational Medical Director for NHS Tayside, said: “Now more than ever we need to make sure all healthcare professionals’ time and clinical expertise is used in the best way. Missed appointments delay treatment and increase waiting times for all patients.

“I understand that people may be a bit anxious about coming to hospital whilst COVID continues to circulate in our communities, but please be reassured that there are lots of COVID-19 safety measures in place throughout our healthcare sites including fluid resistant face masks, social distancing and hand hygiene stations.

“There are some simple things that the public can do to support us to help reduce missed appointments. It is really important that people get in contact with us as early as possible if they are unable to attend their appointment for any reason by phoning the number on their appointment letter. This allows us to rearrange a more suitable date and time for them and give the original appointment to someone else.”

With winter month’s adding a greater pressure on the NHS, they say it’s important that each appointment is made the most of.

Dr Pamela Johnston added: “People should also make sure that their address and phone number is up-to-date with their GP practice to ensure that appointment letters and text reminders don’t go astray. 

“This will help us reduce the number of missed appointments and means we can make the best use of all of our NHS resources.

“In response to COVID-19, there have been hundreds of thousands of patient consultations using a virtual appointment either by phone, video or Near Me.

“By using telephone appointments and the video link ‘Near Me,’ patients have been able to schedule appointments which are convenient to them without them having to leave their homes.  

“As we head into winter, please help all of our teams to keep services running and seeing as many people as we can by attending your scheduled hospital appointment or letting us know if you can no longer make it.”

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