THERE is no cost to a practice or GPs from missed appointments. The downside is to organised patients who might have booked the appointment in question and couldn’t do so. (“Poor should get same-day slots to see a GP, says study”, The Herald, December 5)

All GPs faced with an empty slot whether of 10 or 15 minutes have plenty of work or learning they can do at their desk with the time released - and do so.

Text reminders is as good as it gets and I deprecate practices which put patients off their list for recurrent failure to attend. The hapless and hopeless, disorganised in many aspects of their lives, deserve imaginative solutions. In some areas a “fixer” is needed who will fetch them for a planned longer review appointment. This is particularly important for those on repeat medicines where safety is a priority.

Loading article content

When a practice has a 15 per cent failure to attend rate, it therefore needs to offer 15 per cent more than the total appointments required to adjust in favour of the practice population as a whole.

We don’t waste any time in practice, it is too precious.

Philip Gaskell,

General Practitioner,

Woodlands Lodge,

Buchanan Castle Estate, Drymen.