Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Missed appointments at Ipswich Hospital topped 37,000 last year

Ipswich Hospital Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Hospital Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Patients missed more than 37,000 appointments at Ipswich Hospital last year, new figures have revealed.

Healthwatch Suffolk chief executive Andy Yacoub PIcture: GREGG BROWNHealthwatch Suffolk chief executive Andy Yacoub PIcture: GREGG BROWN

The hospital trust’s new annual report shows a total of 37,445 appointments were missed last year, at the cost of thousands of pounds to the taxpayer.

However Andy Yacoub, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, said it is too easy to blame patients for the issue and that hospitals could do more to make cancelling appointments an easier experience.

He said: “Missed appointments or did not attends are an issue for health services generally, whether you are a small GP, a large GP, a community hospital or an acute hospital.

“I think it is too easy to assume it is the patient’s fault.

“On the face of it, it looks like patient that has let down the hospital by not being at the appointment.

“It can be that. But what we don’t know much about, as there has never been an independent study, is why they don’t attend.

“We think it is partly to do with not understanding the letters, getting flooded with information or not having a clear point of contact if they need to change an appointment.

“They need to make it an easier system for people to use.”

The 37,445 missed appointments has slightly risen on last year’s figure of 35,495.

However the hospital has seen an increase in the number of patients it treats.

A spokesman for Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust said: “One of the biggest priorities for us as a trust is to make sure we value people’s time, to make time matter and to reduce the unnecessary stress and frustration around receiving healthcare.

“Many people very kindly do let us know they will not be able to keep appointments.

“Sadly some people are not able to do that.

“One of the reasons for not being able to do that is we may not be making it as easy or convenient as we possibly can to secure appointment times which are mutually agreed.

“We are very grateful to everyone who takes the time to rearrange an appointment.

“We cannot treat an empty seat and someone may be able to be treated in that seat.

“We do recognise that there’s a lot of work which we are now doing to make it easier and more convenient to come and see us.”

Over the Christmas and New Year period we all struggle to keep a lid on our waste - the food bin groans under the weight of turkey carcasses and our blue recycling bulges with empty boxes from trikes and new games consoles so the last thing you want is to miss your rubbish collection.

An Ipswich mother has called for measures to slow drivers at a busy junction after her son almost died in a collision there.

Suffolk police seized a higher volume of crack cocaine than any force outside the Met last year, according to new figures.

An Ipswich man who sexually assaulted a schoolgirl has been jailed for four months.

With Christmas around the corner, Suffolk has retail temp jobs a plenty - but which jobs in other sectors are getting increasingly tough to fill?

A special fire service vehicle is taking to the streets of Suffolk highlighting the range of work and opportunities within the service.

Clouds will be few and far between today as the sun shows its face over Suffolk.

Today we can finally reveal the names of the people selected to be on our first ever Inspiring Women of Suffolk list.

The sea wall of an island off the coast of Suffolk is being lowered by almost half a metre to prevent it flooding in stormy weather.

This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of - 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.

The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24