After just reading about no-show patients, I have to say that I blame the hospitals’ horrendous systems.
The automated service mentioned in the article is one that reminds you a week before your appointment. You have the options to say you are attending or that you are cancelling and want another appointment.
I had to cancel an appointment for my son a few weeks ago due to the hospital changing the appointment and I was unable to attend because of work commitments.
I cancelled using the automated service and asked for a further appointment to be sent. The day after the appointment was due I received a phone call from the Hallamshire eye department asking why I hadn’t attended. I told them I had cancelled, to which the lady asked if it was done by the automated service, as it doesn’t work properly. I believe this may be to blame for the rise in missed appointments.
I have been trying to make the appointment in question for the last three months and every time I change the appointment for a day I can make (I work part-time and try to arrange it to coincide with one of my days off) they change it back to a day I cannot attend.
When I questioned this I was told that the person who is responsible for the clinic on a Wednesday was off sick long-term so every time they make the appointment they don’t know if she is going to send in another sick note, so when she does they have to cancel all the appointments again. This is an eye clinic. Surely they have more than one person who can do a children’s eye clinic.
The glasses of my son, who is only three, no longer fit him and I have been forced to submit a day’s holiday to attend the appointment I have now been given. Let’s hope they don’t cancel that when someone else goes off sick.