Missed appointments may have cost local NHS trusts millions during the pandemic
York Teaching Hospital Trust potentially lost more than £5 million due to thousands of missed appointments through the pandemic, figures show.
The failed appointments waste time and heap pressure on consultants who already face “extraordinary demand” due to the virus, says the British Medical Association.
NHS Digital data shows that in the 11 months from April last year, there were 32,840 outpatient appointments which people did not show up for.
It means out of 761,780 booked sessions, 4% were unattended.
And with the average outpatient appointment costing £160 – as estimated by several NHS trusts – the no-shows may have cost York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust around £5.3 million.
At York Teaching Hospital Trust, the rate of missed hospital appointments was at its highest in January when 5% were no-shows, 4,185 in total.
Across England, the highest rates of people failing to show for appointments were in December and January – coinciding with the second wave of the pandemic.
A spokesperson from NHS England said measures were in place in hospitals to ensure patients remained safe.