FINANCE: Patients not turning up for outpatient appointments are costing Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust nearly £5m a year in lost income.

The trust’s board heard that in 2011-12 there were 38,652 “did not attends” at outpatient appointments, representing £4.8m in lost income. This year there is a similar position, with over eight per cent of first outpatient appointments being missed and over nine per cent of follow ups.

The trust has taken action including changing booking systems so that patients are given a date closer to the time, thus reducing the chances of forgetting about it.

It has also sought to improve how people are reminded about their appointment; and making it easier for them to cancel or change a date.