DID NOT ATTEND (DNA) POLICY

 

Background

 

Whitehouse Medical Group Practice is committed to ensuring that the best possible service is provided to all Patients registered with the Practice.  As with many other GP surgeries we are experiencing a high level of demand for our services.  We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to get a routine appointment with a GP or Nurse however, one thing that makes this increasingly difficult to overcome is the problem of missed appointments ie DNAs.

 

It is disappointing when an appointment is not utilised when a Patient does not turn up and has not contacted the Practice to cancel the appointment in order for it to be allocated to another.

 

Patient non-attendance at a booked appointment adversely impacts on Practice staff and its Patients in the following manner:

 

  • The DNA Patient takes the appointment slot of another Patient who could have attended.
  • Increases waiting time for appointments.
  • The time and personnel required to follow-up and rebook DNA Patients diverts Practice staff from other duties and is therefore a waste of resources.

In 2016, there were 3341 such DNAs - with either GPs or Nurses, this is equivalent to 557 hours - almost 4 months of surgery time!

 

 

DNA Policy

 

A DNA occurs when:

 

- an appointment is not attended;

- the Patient has not contacted the Practice in advance to cancel it or

- where the cancellation is so late that it makes it impossible to allocate that time to another Patient who needs    treatment.

 

A DNA will be coded against the Patients records in the following manner:

 

  • Should a Patient have DNA'd twice within a 6 month period, they will be advised that the Practice is aware of this and subsequently reminded of the Practice DNA Policy when booking any future appointments.
  • Following 3 missed appointments within a 12 month period, a warning letter will be issued and recorded on the Patient record.
  • Should a further appointment be missed, a final warning letter will be sent.  This letter will request written acknowledgement of receipt of the letter within 14 days from the date of the letter.  Should no acknowledgement be received within this timeframe, the Patient will be reviewed at a Practice meeting and consideration will be given to removing them from the Practice list.        

 

 

Avoid Becoming a DNA

 

If you cannot attend or no longer need an appointment, please let us know in advance.

 

We understand that mistakes do happen and that appointments can be forgotten or overlooked.  In such cases, the Practice will take into account the reason given by Patients.  However repeated offences are unacceptable.

 

Preference, of course, is for the Practice to know in advance so we can offer the appointments to other Patients in need.

 

If you need to cancel an appointment you can do this in any one of the following ways:

 

(1)   In person at the Reception Desk

 

(2)   Telephone: 028 90 865402 

 

(3)   Email: reception@whitehousemedicalpractice.co.uk please give 24 hours notice

 

(4)   Complete the cancellation form available on our website: www.whitehousemedicalpractice.co.uk please give 24 hours notice

 

(5)   You can also cancel if you have signed up to our online services - please see website for further details

 

 

Reducing DNAs

 

As a Practice we are doing our utmost to reduce DNAs as much as possible.

 

We are reminding Patients of what our policy is and we believe that it is important to ensure it is being enforced.  Consistent application of the DNA policy by all Practice staff (clinical and non-clinical) plays an important role in encouraging Patients to assist in ensuring that Clinics are managed as efficiently as possible.

 

We will always print appointment details for Patients who make an appointment face to face at our reception desk.  Our appointment slips also contain our telephone number should Patients need to cancel.

 

If you make an appointment over the telephone, we would suggest that Patients' record/document the date and time in a way that can be easily accessed - in a diary, on a calendar or for the more technically minded on a mobile phone.  Our staff are trained to repeat all appointment details and clarify understanding with Patients at the time of making the appointment.

 

Every effort will be made to communicate effectively with all Patients including those with language, literacy and vision difficulties.  The Practice will exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis to avoid disadvantaging Patients in the case of genuine hardship, misunderstandings and other unavoidable circumstances.

 

It is the Patient's responsibility to:

 

- Advise the Practice of any change to their contact details

- Attend their arranged clinic appointment or reschedule with reasonable advanced notice.

 

To help us improve the system and make more appointments available for Patients to book routinely, please adhere to our Practice Policy.