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‘Can’t make it? Cancel it!’ – new citywide campaign targets missed GP appointments

‘Can’t make it? Cancel it!’ – new citywide campaign targets missed GP appointments
04 May 2018

A new citywide campaign has been launched to urge people to cancel GP appointments if they can’t attend – and has been backed by superhero ‘DNA Man’.

Created in partnership by Chapelgreen Practice and Ecclesfield School, ‘DNA Man’ is a superhero that aims to raise awareness of the problem of missed appointments, and encourage patients to cancel if they can’t attend. 

A recent survey conducted by NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group has found that 5,600 doctors’ appointments were missed from January to March at just 10 of Sheffield’s GP practices.

The sample included 10 GP practices of varying sizes, areas and demographics across the city, in order to create a snapshot of the issue of ‘Did Not Attends’ (DNAs). It has been estimated that each appointment costs approximately £30, meaning these wasted hours of GP time are a costly problem for both the NHS and the patients who need to see a GP quickly.

Henry Moody with the orginal sketch of DNA Man that started the campaign 

In order to combat these missed appointments, all NHS practices across the city are taking part in the ‘DNA (Did Not Attend) Man’ campaign, with the simple message to patients: ‘Can’t make it? Cancel it!’ Most practices offer a range different ways to cancel, for example over the phone, online, or via an answering machine.

This new approach has been rolled out with the help of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s ‘neighbourhoods’ initiative, a scheme that helps GP practices share resources and work together to improve patient experience and access to care.

The official launch of the ‘DNA Man’ campaign was held at Ecclesfield School on May 4. Life-size cut outs of the superhero figurehead will now be appearing in practices across Sheffield, accompanied by positive messages, reminding patients to do their bit to help the NHS and other patients.

Katrina Cleary, Programme Director of Primary Care at NHS Sheffield CCG said: “We’re really pleased and proud to be supporting this campaign – we hope it makes a positive difference for the people of Sheffield and our GP practices.”

Dr Amar Rughani, GP at Chapelgreen Practice, said: “’DNA Man’ is a light-hearted awareness campaign that focuses on the positive actions patients can take.

“A missed appointment means another patient misses out on vital care, and it increases demand and pressure on already-stretched local practices. Cancelling an appointment if you know you can’t make it is a really easy way for us all to help our local NHS to help us.”


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