New Seaham Medical Group

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Did Not Attend Policy (DNAs)

Most of our patients know it can sometimes be difficult to a get a routine appointment with a GP or Nurse within a certain time frame.  Where such demand is unpredictable, this cannot easily be remedied.  One thing that makes this even more difficult to overcome is the problem of missed appointments  – DNAs.

Where patients have been declined appointment because clinicians are fully booked, it is extremely disappointing  when one of those booked appointments does not turn up and has not contacted the Practice to cancel the appointment so that it can be released and allocated to another patient.

The cost in time and money is a burden to the National Health Service generally and the Practice cannot sustain this.  Please see the DNA Status Sheet posted in the waiting room.

Remember that your DNA is another patient’s denied appointment.

DNA Policy

A DNA occurs when an appointment is not attended and the patient has not contacted the Practice in advance to cancel it or where the cancellation is so late as to make it impossible to allocate that time to another patient who needs treatment.

The Practice will code this DNA and this will prompt a retrospective check on the number of DNAs recorded against that person.  As such, the following applies

1st DNA

Where this is the first occasion, a code will be added to the patient’s medical records, and the patient contacted by text message, a note will also be added to their splash screen and the DNA counted in a monthly search.

2nd DNA

Where this is the second occasion, the patient will be contacted by the Practice, advised of their second missed appointment and informed that if a further appointment is DNA’d they could be at risk of compromising their relationship with the Practice.

3rd DNA

Where a third DNA has occurred, the Practice will review the individual case and a decision will be taken with regard to addressing the patient’s future ability to pre-book routine appointments.  The Practice will consider whether consistent failure to adhere to our Practice policy constitutes a breakdown between the patient and the GP (where the GP Practice has given clear instruction on policy and service provision and the patient has chosen to disregard this on several occasions in spite of due warning).   This ultimately could result in you being removed from the Practice List and you will need to register with an alternative Surgery.

It should be noted that, whilst unacceptable in most cases, there may be extenuating circumstances as to why the patient has failed to attend their appointment. Therefore, prior to any correspondence being sent to a patient, it would be reasonable to discuss this with their clinician.

Any correspondence sent to patients relating to DNA’s are only valid for a 12 month period.  All correspondence will be saved in each patient’s electronic health records.

By reducing the number of DNAs, the Practice will:

  • Enhance the efficiency of clinical sessions
  • Reduce costs
  • Increase productivity
  • Offer a more effective service to patients
  • Enable more effective booking of slots

How to Avoid Becoming  a DNA

If you cannot attend or no longer need an appointment, please ring us in advance – ideally 24 hours before the scheduled appointment.

Mistakes do happen and the Practice understand that appointments can be forgotten about or overlooked.  However, each patient receives a text message reminder 24 hours before the appointment. If you are not receiving these please check with Reception to make sure we have the correct contact details for you.

Preference of course, is  for the Practice to know in advance so we can offer the appointment(s) to other patients in need.

Should you Need to Cancel, Here’s How:-

  • By telephone our appointment line is 0191 581 7661
  • If the appointment was booked online, it can be cancelled online.  For more information on online access please speak to Reception.