The cost of missed appointments can place a huge burden on the NHS. With each missed appointment costing the NHS an estimated £30 (Source: NHS England), it is no surprise that wasted costs can quickly add up and place unnecessary and potentially avoidable strain on our healthcare service.
New data from Patient Claim Line has considered and ranked each region and Integrated Care Board (ICB) in the UK based on the percentage of missed appointments, and calculated how much in financial terms each area has for one reason or another, increased the overall cost of healthcare delivery by the NHS as a result.
Researchers analysed data from the official NHS website and based cost estimates on the £30 per appointment figure provided by the NHS.
Which UK region has the highest percentage of missed appointments?
Although it is not the region with the highest number of appointments, the data shows that London has the highest percentage of missed appointments, with 6.2% of all appointments being missed. Using these estimated figures, this cost the NHS £54,056,790 between June and December 2022 alone.
This is followed by the North West region which recorded 5.9% of all GP appointments being missed. The South East had the third highest missed appointment rates, with 4.9% of all GP slots unattended.
Overall, 9,677,450 GP appointments were missed across the UK between June and December 2022, costing the NHS £290,323,500 in total. In real terms, this is equivalent to the average annual salary of 10,751 band 5 nurses.
Which region has the lowest percentage of missed appointments?
East Anglia has the lowest percentage of missed GP appointments across all UK regions, with just 3.9% of all appointments being missed, accounting for something in the order of a £26 million cost to the NHS which although is still a huge amount, is half of the costs of missed appointments in London.
Which ICB has the highest percentage of missed appointments?
An ICB (Integrated Care Board) is an NHS organisation responsible for planning and coordinating different healthcare services within specific regions of the country. There are 42 ICB’s throughout England that are each responsible for meeting the medical needs of a certain area of the population.
The North East London ICB was found to have the highest percentage of missed appointments in the UK with a whopping 448,173 appointments unattended in the latter half of 2022. The costs of these missed appointments in the North East London ICB alone is £13,445,190 in this time period, which is the equivalent of 467 band 5 nurses.
The second highest figures were found to be in the Birmingham and Solihull ICB, where 6.6% of GP appointments were missed between June and December 2022, followed by the Black Country ICB with 6.4% of all appointments being missed.
However, the Greater Manchester ICB has the highest number of missed appointments in total, with almost 600,000 appointments missed.
Michael Gray, Partner & Senior Solicitor from Patient Claim Line said, “There are lots of valid and understandable reasons why people might not be able to make a planned GP appointment.
“It could be childcare, poor public transport, strikes, ill health, or the costs of travel. Life happens and plans have to change.
“However, now more than ever, with the NHS under the sort of strain that we are seeing every day and with waiting times for appointments longer than they have been, it is really important to communicate with your GP ahead of time, or if you or a family member are not going to be able to make it to your appointment, it can be offered to somebody else.
“If you can’t use it then, pass it on. Let’s work to plug those holes created by missed appointments and help the system that we all respect and depend upon. With over £290 million in savings to be made, we can all do our bit for the NHS.”
Patient Claim Line has released the data to raise awareness of the impact that missed appointments have on the NHS and its funding to highlight how patients across the UK can ensure NHS resources are used more efficiently.