Did not attend (DNA) Policy

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance regarding the management of patients who failed to attend their appointments. It is essential to make the best use of the clinicians’ availability to ensure that all patients have access to appointments within an acceptable time frame.

As well as being costly in financial terms, patients who fail to attend their agreed medical appointments often create excessive waiting times for other patients.

At Wonersh Surgery, an average of 113 patients are recorded as being a DNA each m,onth within the last year, meaning that the patient neither attended their appointment nor advised the practice within 12 hours prior to the scheduled appointment, to enable a cancellation or change to their appointment to be made.

The Practice Manager will review DNA statistics on a Monthly basis. DNAs are to be displayed, highlighting the facts in the waiting room and on the organisation’s website.

In order to reduce the number of DNAs, the organisation will offer:


  •          Easy cancellation

Rapid access is provided for patients who wish to contact the organisation to cancel an appointment. Wonersh Surgery’s approach is to have a text message service and online cancellation functionality.

  •          Appointment reminders

Patients are sent a text message to remind them about a forthcoming appointment. The reminder includes an explanation of how to cancel the appointment if it is no longer wanted.

  •         Patient recording

Patients are asked to write their own appointment card for their next appointment rather than having this done for them. This encourages recall, thereby reducing subsequent DNAs.

  •          Read back

The administrative team will ask the patient to repeat the details of the appointment to them to check that they have remembered and recorded it correctly.

  •          Report attendances

The Practice Manager will publish DNA information Monthly and make it readily available in the waiting room and on the organisation’s website.

  •          Patient engagement

Wonersh Surgery will discuss the issue with the Patient Participation Group (PPG) to highlight the numbers and plans for improving the DNA rates. The organisation’s information leaflet will set out Wonersh Surgery’s policy on dealing with patients who fail to attend their appointments.

After 3 DNA's within a 12 month period, the patient will be sent a warning letter notifying them if they fail to attend another appointment within a 12 month period, removal from the organisations list may be considered.

Please help us to maximise appointment availability by contacting us as soon as you know you will be unable to attend your scheduled appointment. Your cooperation is very much appreciated.