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Missed appointments

Patients who miss their GP appointments are costing NHS England around £216m a year, officials have said.

Around 15 million consultations are being wasted each year because patients fail to attend. This means that more than 1.2 million GP hours are being wasted each year.

NHS England estimate that each appointment costs around £30, and the overall expense of patients not cancelling appointments could pay for 2,325 full-time GPs annually. It could also fund 58,000 hip operations or 220,000 cataract operations.

Missed GP appointments waste NHS resources and can cause serious delays in treatment for other patients.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chairman, said: “Every appointment at a GP practice is precious, especially at a time when GP services are struggling to cope with rising patient demand, staff shortages and inadequate budgets.

“Practices will try many ways to address this problem, but ultimately patients do need to play their part.”

Last week, 15 patients failed to attend their appointments at the Beaconsfield Road Practice.