MORE than 300 hours of medical appointments have been missed in just three months at GP surgeries across Clwyd South.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates found there were at least 1,903 instances of people who ‘did not attend’ (DNA) at practices in his constituency from October 1 to December 31.
He is urging patients to keep their allotted slot or cancel in good time to avoid wasting GPs’ time, costing the NHS money.
Mr Skates said: “Based on an average appointment being 10 minutes, these missed slots amount to more than 317 hours, which would mean almost 40 eight-hour working days have been lost in just three months by patients not turning up or letting their surgery know they won’t be coming.
“Those who fail to keep their appointments are simply adding to the strain on staff and NHS resources.
“They also prevent other people from getting medical attention when they don’t even inform the surgery they can’t make it and doctors’ and nurses’ valuable time goes begging.”
Llangollen Health Centre, which has branch surgeries in Acrefair and Glyn Ceiriog, has about 9,000 patients and recorded 628 DNAs.
Forge Road Surgery in Southsea, which has a branch surgery in Brymbo, has 6,500 patients and recorded 667 DNAs over the same period. Chirk Surgery had 222 missed slots, while Caritas Surgery – which has premises in Cefn Mawr and Coedpoeth – had 173.
The health centre in Coedpoeth had 29 DNAs, the surgery in Hanmer had 10, Bryn Darland Surgery in Coedpoeth had 30 and the Overton Medical Practice in Bangor-on-Dee had 144.
The actual number of missed appointments could be higher than 1,903, as three surgeries did not supply their information.
Crane Medical Centre in Cefn Mawr did not have any DNAs.
Some surgeries also have appointment slots longer than 10 minutes, meaning the number of hours of DNAs will be even greater.
Mr Skates added: “Missed appointments cost the NHS tens of million pounds a year across Britain and its hard-working, dedicated staff are under enough pressure as it is without having their time wasted. I don’t think a simple, 30 second phone call is too much to ask.”
A Betsi Cadwaladr University Heath Board spokesman said: “Demand for GP appointments is high and each missed appointment is a wasted opportunity for another patient to have been seen. Having to re-book appointments for patients who did not attend then makes it more difficult for other patients to get to see their GP quickly.
“We know circumstances mean people will sometimes not be able to attend, or no longer need, an appointment, but they should always let their GP practice know as soon as possible so appointments can be made available to others.”