GP practices impacted by patients not attending booked appointments

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

From April 2021 to March 2022, the equivalent of 48 GP appointments per day were wasted due to patients not attending booked appointments across all 11 practices on the Island, with this financial year appearing to show similar results.

Manx Care acknowledges that a number of patients are experiencing difficulties getting an appointment with their GP. This is also a problem across the UK and is a result of a number of factors, including recruitment issues and high vacancy factors amongst GPs and Practice Nurses, the number of people living longer with long-term conditions, and the large number of patients failing to attend their booked appointments. This is a huge concern to our surgeries – it is seriously impacting their services, and is a waste of clinical time and money. This in turn affects other patients who then have to wait longer for appointments.

The total number of patient “did not attends” (DNAs) from April 2021 to March 2022 was 12,444. The cost of this to Manx Care was approximately £472,872 (based on £38 average cost for each GP appointment – in line with the NHS England/Kings Fund estimation on cost of a nine-minute appointment). The highest number of recorded DNAs in one surgery was 499 in March 2022.

The pattern of high DNA numbers appears to be continuing through 2022-23, with 7,332 appointments already missed between April and September 2022.

There are a number of impacts of DNAs, but of particular concern is that the overall patient wait to see a GP or Nurse is extended, which could result in exacerbation of symptoms. This also results in patients presenting at other services provided by Manx Care instead, for example the MEDS out of hours GP service or the Emergency Department at Noble’s Hospital, which in turn increases pressure on those services and exacerbates the length of wait to be seen there.

Dr. John Snelling, Manx Care’s Associate Director of Primary Care, commented:

“We encourage patients to consider the impact of booking an appointment with their GP surgery and then not turning up. Our telephone lines are extremely busy and so, where possible, please help us by cancelling your appointment via the Patient Access app.  Alternatively, please email, text (where available) or ring the practice.

 “We absolutely acknowledge and accept that there will be circumstances whereby people cannot attend an appointment due to a last-minute emergency, but this will not be the case for everyone. If the 48 appointments missed every working day could be filled by other patients waiting to see their GP, this would have a real impact across the board.” 

Information on how to cancel an appointment is on the Manx Care website, or you can see the best way to contact each practice below. Manx Care will be publishing GP practices’ DNA data each month going forward. 

PracticeMethod of cancellation
Finch Hill Patient Access  or Email (
Palatine Patient Access, Email (, or telephone (623931)
Hailwood Patient Access or Telephone (686949)
Ballasalla Patient Access, Email ( or Telephone (823243)
Peel Patient access, Text (468468), Email ( or Telephone (686968)
Southern Patient Access or Telephone (686979)
Kensington Patient Access or Email (
Castletown Patient Access or Email (
Snaefell Patient Access or Email (
Laxey / Onchan Patient Access, Email (laxey& or Telephone (Laxey 861350/Village Walk 656020)
Ramsey Patient Access or Email (


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