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79% of people think Government should charge for missed GP appointments

Around eight in ten people believe the Government should consider charging patients for missed GP appointments as a policy, a major pre-election poll of 20,000 British adults has found.

‘The people, the parties and the NHS’ report by Lord Ashcroft Polls found that ‘anger’ about misuse of services meant 79% of respondents believed charging for DNAs would be an effective route to raise extra funding.

Though some pointed out that the time cost in recovering fines would likely hinder implementation of the scheme, there was widespread support, particularly amongst those who have had difficulty in arranging an appointment.

The report states: ‘As well as concern about the numbers of people apparently using the NHS without having helped to pay for it, there was anger about those who abused the service, particularly by failing to turn up for GP appointments.

‘The poll found nearly four-fifths (79%) saying the Government should consider charging people for missed appointments as a way of raising extra funding.’

Pulse reported before Christmas that GPs in Northern Ireland were increasingly deploying a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule to curb the 10,000 DNAs they experience each week.

And the DNA rate has also been used as evidence against seven day working, after a study of missed appointments in hospital outpatient clinics found the rate doubled at weekends.