Did Not Attend (DNA)


Image of a clinical staff member calling out patient names

Around 400-600 appointments per month are ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA), i.e. the patient does attend the appointment and does not contact the surgery in advance to cancel or change their appointment.

The effects of these are:

  • An increase in the waiting time for appointments
  • Frustration for both staff and patients
  • A waste of resources


If a patient fails to attend a pre-booked appointment on more than three occasions in the last 12 months, an informal warning letter will be sent to the patient, advising them that a further occurrence could risk removal from the Practice.

If the patient fails to attend another appointment, a formal warning letter will be issued, advising of the next step if another appointment is missed. This could be the patient being removed from our list. If so, the patient will be advised in writing that the Health Authority will be requested to remove the patient from our list. In these circumstances, we would only continue to provide medical services (inclusing providing prescriptions) for 28 days. The patient will then be responsible for registering at another practice.

Warning letters are valid for a period of 12 months and missed appointments are assessed over a rolling twelve months.