Another hospital department has reported an increase in its did-not-attend (DNA) rate for patients whose appointments were made through Choose and Book.

Orthopaedic surgeons from James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough say that they have logged a 39% increase in non-attendance rates since their department started to use Choose and Book in 2006.

The doctors, writing in the BMJ, were following up a report from ENT doctors at University Hospital Lewisham who sent a letter to the BMJ last month stating that DNA attend rates were 50% higher for patients referred through Choose and Book than for patients referred via traditional paper-based methods.

The latest letter from Dr Thomas Beckingsale, a specialist registrar in orthopaedic surgeon and Mr Ian Wallace, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, says DNA rates for elective referrals in the department have risen from 5.41% in 2005 to 8.81% in 2008.

They said Choose and Book went fully online for elective orthopaedic referrals at the James Cook Hospital in October 2006.

The doctors say the increase in non-attendance rates is statistically significant and equates to a 39% rise in non attendance after the start of Choose and Book. “It inevitably reduces the cost efficiency and productivity of the department,” they add.

Doctors from the Lewisham study are going to look in more detail at the reasons for the increase in DNAs from patients booked through Choose and Book.

When the Lewisham study was published the Department of Health said it was surprised at the findings as it said all other evidence suggested Choose and Book significantly reduces DNA rates.


BMJ Article

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