Why people miss their hospital appointments in Doncaster and Bassetlaw report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Doncaster in partnership with Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group commenced a three month engagement project to look at why people miss their hospital appointments. Over 50,000 hospital appointments are missed every year at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. In the early summer of 2017 NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group identified a growing trend regarding the number of patients missing their cancer two week wait appointments and Healthwatch Doncaster wanted to understand how patients could be engaged in order to reduce this concern. Healthwatch Doncaster launched the on-line survey, together with a campaign plan to conduct face to face interviews as well as promote the online survey through social media. In total 1630 people participated, equating to 0.5% of the population of Doncaster. Findings from the survey included: - The need for administrative processes to be of high quality (ensuring letters arrive on time, ensure appointments are not routinely changed, ensuring patient details are correct) came through in the additional comments respondents have left to the on-line survey. - 23% said they would like to receive their appointment notification via letter with either a text or email follow up - Those with learning disabilities and those requiring interpretation services emphasised the importance of the Hospital recognising the need for additional training to be provided for staff on the use of sign language, English not being people’s first language and why people need more time to attend appointments. Key messages from young people included: ▪ 48% confirmed they would like to receive a text as well as a letter, 34% said by text only, with only 10% saying by letter only. ▪ If their appointment was during school time a small minority said they would just not attend their appointment. ▪ 66% said they would talk to their head teacher and arrange to take time off school. ▪ 29% respondents said they would try and rearrange the appointment. The report includes 4 main themes of recommendations, which were: 1. Enhance Communication between providers and patients 2. Improve experience for patients, staff and the public 3. To ensure best use of resources 4. To increase and improve knowledge to enhance service programme and commissioning of services The report does not contain a response from the provider.

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General details

Report title 
Why people miss their hospital appointments in Doncaster and Bassetlaw report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Doncaster
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 January, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 26 October, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 13 December, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Car parking access
Car parking charges
Communication between staff and patients
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Patient records
Quality of appointment
Quality of patient transport
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Service Provider
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Day care

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Types of disabilities 
Long term condition
Types of long term conditions 
Deafness or severe hearing impairment

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.