Missed GP appointments in Greater Manchester costing the NHS £26m, data shows

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Patients are being encouraged to seek help when they need it while making sure they turn up for appointments they have booked.

More than 800,000 GP appointments were missed in Greater Manchester in less than a year, costing the NHS around £26m, data shows.

Analysis of NHS Digital statistics found that across the city-region between January and November 2022 there were 871,884 appointments with doctors that patients did not turn up for. This means that 6.2% of all appointments booked in those 11 months did not happen.

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The health service estimates that this has a cost to the NHS of around £26,156,520. In total there were 14,104,518 GP appointments booked in Greater Manchester.

Across England as a whole there were 14 million missed appointments between January and November 2022, meaning patients did not see a doctor for 4.7% of all the appointments booked.

There were also almost 12 million appointments across England for which the attendance status was not recorded. Patients attended 302 million appointments between January and November 2022.

The NHS says the average GP appointment costs £30, meaning that the missed appointments have cost the healthcare system an estimated £421 million.

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Patients are now being reminded that booking appointments to see a doctor and then not turning up has a cost to the NHS while being encouraged to make sure they see a doctor if they need to do so.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Every appointment missed is taxpayers’ money wasted, and we strongly encourage patients to attend their GP appointments.

“We are incredibly grateful to GPs and their staff, whose hard work ensured that in the 12 months up to October 2022, there were around 93,000 more GP appointments every working day compared to last year.”

An NHS spokesperson said: “Record numbers of people are being treated by the NHS with millions more GP appointments being delivered compared to before the pandemic.

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“The message, however, to patients is clear and has not changed - it is vital that people seek care when they need it.”

Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership has been approached for comment on the local figures.

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