Monday, 16 December 2013

In love with fines

Hospital waiting room. (Thomas McDonald for The New York Times)

The Derby Telegraph tells us :-

PROPOSALS to fine patients who fail to attend hospital and GP appointments are being discussed.

Their non-show locally is costing millions - money which is badly needed to run daily services at the city's hospitals.

But a leading Derbyshire doctor has said it should be a “last-resort” option for the NHS – as it could cost the system more to actually collect the cash.

Missed appointments have cost Derby’s hospitals about £3.7 million in the past year – with more than 42,000 people failing to cancel them between 2012 and 2013.

As one of the comments suggests, this possibly doesn't cost anyone anything, but merely reduces waiting times for those who turn up.


Sackerson said...

And then there are the appointment letters that arrive after the appointment is due - this happened to more than one of my relations by marriage.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - who is expected to pay the fine in such cases?

Let me guess...

Scrobs... said...

How can a missed appointment cost a hospital money?

They're nearly always behind time, and anyone waiting to go in because they got there earlier, gets the service quicker.

It takes a lot of NHS paper-clip counters to quantify that £3.7m. What a waste or resources.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - point a finger at the patients seems to be the general idea.

James Higham said...

Yep and reduces the daily load on staff.

A K Haart said...

James - for which they are probably grateful.