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Practices warned over locum record checks

Patients missed nine million appointments with GPs last year – a drop of 3.5 million, new figures reveal.

Around four million nurse appointments were also missed, the survey by Developing Patient Partnerships and the Institute of Healthcare Management found.

Some 60 per cent of practices said missed appointments were a problem, with 64 per cent of GPs arguing patients should be fined if they missed their slot.

Spokesman for Developing Patient Partnerships Dr Terry John, a GP in east London, said missed appointments undermined GPs' work to improve access. 'These forgotten millions of missed appointments lead to unavoidable inefficiencies in GP services. It is up to patients to help,' he added.

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