Responding to data from NHS England showing more than 15 million GP appointments are missed each year, costing the health service £216m1, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said:
"Every appointment at a GP practice is precious, especially at a time when GP services are struggling to cope with rising patient demand, staff shortages and inadequate budgets.
“With an ageing population, many patients are needing more appointments and more time with their doctor. In this environment, it is really important for patients to do all they can to make the most of appointments provided to them and to inform their local practice if they cannot attend a previously booked consultation.
“Practices will try many ways to address this problem, but ultimately patients do need to play their part. With the NHS finances under historic strain, it's vital that don't waste the resources we currently have."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
- See NHS England’s website for more details.