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article imageUK: Missed Hospital Appointments Cost NHS £600 million

By Jerry Kennard     Aug 13, 2009 in Health
Hospitals in the United Kingdom lose around £100 per patient in revenue from missed appointments. Young men are targeted as the worst offenders.
People who fail to keep their hospital appointment cost the National Health Service (NHS) an estimated £600 million a year in lost revenue.
Figures collated from health departments across the UK and analysts Dr Foster Intelligence show the worst offenders are young men in their early 20s. Those over 70 are the most diligent.
A BBC News report states some departments have adopted a policy of over-booking on the assumption that appointments will be missed.
The Patients Association has strongly criticized those who do not cancel previously arranged appointments. Unions however say that hospitals are partly responsible by scheduling appointments months in advance, making them easy to forget.
Between 2007-2008 more than six million appointments were missed. The Department of Health in England is hoping a new initiative of sending text message reminders will help to reduce the number of no shows.
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