Thousands of hospital appointments missed at Stoke Mandeville

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More than 16,000 appointments were missed at Stoke Mandeville Hospital during 2011/12, the Bucks Herald can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request to the Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, showed that of 263,704 hospital appointments made during that time, 16,463 were missed.

Missed appointments cost the Trust money which could be spent on doctors, nurses or equipment, although it does not record the total cost of these, as different types of appointments have varying costs.

The Trust is currently piloting a text alert service to remind people about their appointments.

On average about 7 to 8% of appointments at Stoke Mandeville Hospital are missed or cancelled each year. This cancellation rate is similar to that experienced by other hospitals around the country.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “In many cases these appointments, which could have been used by other patients awaiting treatment or follow up care, end up going to waste.

“We know that sometimes it is unavoidable, but we do ask people to give us as much notice as possible if they know they are not going to be able to attend so we can offer these appointments to other patients.

“We also try to reduce the number of cancellations as much as possible.”

If you have made an appointment at Stoke Mandeville Hospital but need to cancel it, the number to call is on your appointment letter.