One in 10 people booking appointments at an Aberdeen hospital are not showing up – and do not bother to cancel.
That is according to new NHS Grampian figures which show 62 patients due to attend Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) failed to turn up last week and did not cancel their appointment.
That amounted to 10% of all appointments that week.
An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “We appreciate that circumstances can sometimes lead to patients not being able to attend and occasionally that they aren’t able to let us know in advance.
“On most occasions, however, we would strongly urge people to cancel when they know they won’t be able to make it.
“We would far rather hear from people, even if that is at the last minute.
“Appointments left uncancelled result in wasted NHS resources, whether that is staff time, unfilled clinical appointments and increased financial outlay.
“Missed inpatient appointments can mean, for example, that valuable theatre time is lost.
“Every uncancelled appointment, whether for inpatients or outpatients, results in another patient not being seen.”
In January, NHS Grampian chiefs announced they would start publishing weekly figures showing the number of missed appointments at ARI and Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, and it began doing the same for RACH in March.
Last week, 479 people were no-shows at ARI without calling to cancel – 7% of all appointments.
At Dr Gray’s, 63 patients did not turn up or cancel – 4% of their appointments.
The board’s vice-chairwoman, Christine Lester, said: “The numbers of people not attending are quite high and people (who have seen the figures) have been shocked.
“It’s about time the public are a wee bit more realistic about what’s going on and about what their expectations of the NHS are in the future.”