Plea to make every hospital appointment count as one in seven are missed

Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2024 3:32 PM

Plea to make every hospital appointment count as one in seven are missed

Patients who are unable to attend or no longer need a hospital appointment are being urged to cancel or rearrange them as soon as possible to help NHS staff to ‘make every appointment count’.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is working hard to reduce outpatient waiting lists, but the latest figures show that more than 6,000 appointments were missed in a month.

The figures relate to appointments at the Trust’s King’s Mill, Newark and Mansfield Community hospitals that patients either did not attend or cancelled at too short notice (less than 48 hours) to enable hospital staff to offer the appointment to another patient.

Among the total are unattended appointments within the Trust’s audiology, orthopaedic and paediatric services, along with therapy and surgeries. In the Trust’s Cardiology Diagnostics clinic 8.44% of appointments were missed in January.

More follow-up appointments are missed than first appointments and this can be even more detrimental as a missed follow-up appointment may mean that diagnostic tests that have been previously done need to be repeated.

Dr James Thomas, Chair of Clinical Support, Therapies and Outpatients at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “Your NHS is here for you and we all have a part to play in making every appointment count especially at a time when demand for NHS services remains high.

“To combat the number of unattended appointments, the Trust is offering patients more telephone and video follow-up appointments, with as many as 4,005 telephone and 203 video appointments taking place in January. 

“The pandemic has seen us all make such great use of technology and your NHS is no different, with thousands of patients now choosing to attend their follow-up appointments remotely in a way that is more convenient for them,” Dr Thomas continued.

“So even if patients can’t physically attend an appointment at one of our hospitals for whatever reason, there are plenty of opportunities to still get the medical attention they need and deserve.”

“The sooner a patient lets us know they cannot attend an appointment for whatever reason, the better our chances of being able to reschedule it quickly while offering the original time to another patient who needs it.”

This plea is being shared as part of a Trust campaign that will also see patients receive appointment reminders by letter and text message.

Patients across the Trust’s hospitals who have also chosen to access appointment information via the NHS app will also receive smartphone notifications as further reminders.

To cancel or rearrange an appointment you have at King’s Mill, Mansfield Community or Newark Hospital, please call the phone number on your appointment letter. You can also email us at

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