Dear Sir, 

I read your article on the "no-show patients" in Bromsgrove and agree it's a terrible waste of resources. Especially in this day and age of technology. 

I then started to think about my doctors now and in the past. I am a 61-year-old male who doesn't go to the doctors very often. 

When I was a child if we needed to see a doctor we used to turn up at the surgery unannounced and wait our turn. 

Now you phone the surgery for an appointment and are told it's a 7-10 day wait but if you phone in the morning at 8.30am you may get a cancellation.

What chances are there of somebody cancelling that have not already cancelled between a late afternoon phone call and 8.30am?

People will take that 7-10 day wait just in case, then either recover from their ailments and not bother to cancel or do they get a cancellation booking and the surgery forget to delete the original appointment? 

This then asks the question, why a 7-10 day wait when in the 60s and 70s we were seen on the same day? 

My first thought was 'not enough doctors for the population'. 

I checked on which shows that in 1960 we had 0.85 doctors per 1000 population, in 2015 2.8 doctors/1000. That is an cumulative increase of 307%.

This figure is for doctors and not GPs but I thought there may be a similar comparison. 

There are probably reasons that I haven't taken into consideration but it brings reason to thought. 


Alan Hodson