New data reveals the worst areas in London for missed GP appointments, costing the NHS millions


New data from Patient Claim Line has ranked which areas in London are the worst for missed GP appointments.

North East London has the tenth highest percentage of missed GP appointments in the UK, with one in 20 (5.60%) appointments being unattended within the past year. This has cost the local NHS an estimated £16,927,260 – the equivalent salary of 420 additional doctors or 833 nurses.

Unattended appointments in North East London have cost the NHS trust more than any other area in the UK.

Out of all Greater London CCGs, South East London was the next top offender, followed by the South West. North West London came out as the location with the lowest proportion of missed appointments.

On average, 5.02% of all GP appointments in Greater London are unattended which has cost the NHS £68,426,190 in the past year alone.

Stoke-on-Trent was named the capital of missed GP appointments across the country, with over 7% of appointments in the area being missed or unattended.

Six out of the top 10 worst areas in the UK were discovered to be based in Greater Manchester, with Manchester and Bury landing in second and third place, each with over 6% of all GP appointments missed or unattended.

However, missed appointments are not always due to carelessness. According to a British Journal of General Practice report, one of the main reasons for missed appointments is financial difficulties, with patients unable to get to their appointments or being unable to take the time off work to attend appointments.

Patient Claim Line has released the data to raise awareness of the impact that missed appointments have on the NHS and how patients can make sure NHS resources are used more efficiently.

Commenting on the data, a spokesperson at Patient Claim Line, said:

“The NHS report shows that whilst the majority of appointments were attended during the sample month, the impact that even a small percentage of missed appointments can have on the NHS is substantial. The wasted costs could be used to support other areas of the NHS and improve resources for patients. This is why it’s crucial that everyone does their bit to keep our NHS functioning at its best, which includes always attending a pre-booked appointment if you can. As the data shows, sometimes it is not financially or logistically possible to keep an appointment. Where this is the case, it is best practice to call and cancel your GP appointment if you can no longer attend.”

“Following the strain of the previous two years, it is now more important than ever to support our NHS. And although it is understandable that sometimes circumstances will not allow us to commit to GP appointments, adhering to your local surgery’s cancellation policy means that other patients may be seen and GP time is not wasted.”