Almost 40,000 patients missed their hospital appointments in Huddersfield and Calderdale last year costing the Trust £5m.
Now new moves are being made to cut the number of time wasters at Huddersfield and Calderdale hospitals.
Forgetful patients are costing the NHS millions when they fail to turn up for appointments.
Nationwide, almost one in 10 outpatients forgets their appointment or fails to cancel or re-schedule it.
Now hospital chiefs at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust are launching more initiatives after a new reminder service which texts and calls patients, launched last June, failed to dramatically reduce the problem.
The interactive service replaced a more basic text reminder system launched in 2010.
End of year figures show 39,659 patients didn’t arrive at hospital for their appointments in Huddersfield and Calderdale in 2013/14 – just 1,221 fewer than the year before.
The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust receives £127 for each outpatient it sees, meaning it has missed out on £5m.
This year’s sum is still higher than two years ago when Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals recorded 38,652 missed appointments – known as Did Not Attends (DNAs).
The hospital trust’s appointments manager, Katharine Fletcher, said: “We have many initiatives underway to bring down the DNAs and are pleased they are already having an impact.
“We expect this to have even more of an impact this year as the new measures will have been place for longer and we have other ideas in the pipeline.
“We would always ask patients if they can to tell us if they can’t make it so their appointment can be re-allocated.”
Analysis of the reasons for DNAs reveal almost half “never knew” or “forgot” about their appointment.
And with the reduction of DNAs over the past 12 months just 2.9%, new initiatives are underway to cut DNAs.
They include a new partial booking system for six week follow-ups which allows patients to confirm their appointment closer to the due date, reducing the risk of them forgetting.
The Trust is also launching a new website for rescheduling appointment and targeting particular patients it thinks are likely to miss appointments with extra reminders.
A new clearer letter format has also been designed.
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