Let your GP know if you can't make an appointment, RCGP urges patients

Publication date: 02 January 2019

Responding to efforts by NHS England to encourage patients to cancel GP appointments in good time if they can’t make them, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, said:

"When patients miss appointments it can be a frustrating waste of resources for GPs and our teams, but also for other patients who are struggling to secure an appointment for themselves.

"There may be many reasons why a patient might miss an appointment, and in some cases it can be an indication that something serious is going on for that individual - but we would urge patients to let us know if they can't attend as soon as possible, so that we can offer that time to someone else who really needs it. To this end, practices are using electronic methods, such as SMS reminders, to encourage patients to keep their appointments, or cancel them in a timely manner.

"Many patients are waiting far too long for a GP appointment and we can all do our bit to help - but what we ultimately need is for general practice to receive 11% of the overall NHS England budget as part of the forthcoming NHS ten-year plan to allow us to deliver the care our patients need and deserve."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 765
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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