New figures released last week have painted an alarming picture of the cost of missed GP appointments.
Lincolnshire West CCG suggests that as many as 76,000 appointments could be wasted in Lincoln and Gainsborough each year, losing the NHS around £1.5 million in the area alone.
In context, that figure is more than the operating costs of the recently closed Lincoln Walk-In Centre.
The Lincolnite asked people in Lincoln city centre whether fines for missing GP appointments would be a solution.
Izzy Gibbs said: “There’s enough pressure on the NHS as it is. The threat of a fine would encourage people to turn up or think ‘do I actually need this appointment?’.”
Will Dunlop said: “I don’t think they should fine people. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it.”
The figures also generated a lot of conversation on The Lincolnite‘s Facebook page.
David Ewen said: “It is completely unacceptable to miss an appointment. If you can’t go, then tell the practice in advance. Unacceptable. Many people want one so let them have it.”
Joe Bongo said: “There is no cost to missed appointments unless the staff sit there doing nothing in the appointment time. Which they don’t. They will no doubt be doing other things.”
Melanie Beadle-Hewson said: “Two strikes and off the books would sort it.”