Wednesday 17 May
Increase in missed appointments concerns DHB
While some progress has been made with improvements to its processes, the West Coast DHB would still like to understand
why some patients do not turn up for appointments.
Nurse Manager Clinical Services Julie Lucas says there’s been an increase in missed appointments over the last six
months and as part of the ongoing focus on improving services, the DHB will be contacting those patients to check why.
“We need our patients to help us out here. We need to find out if these patients have received their appointment letters
in a timely manner, have they received text reminders, or maybe we have incorrect contact details for them,” she says.
“We want to make sure these patients have the best chance of making appointments that may be critical to their ongoing
health and wellbeing. In many cases, early diagnosis can improve outcomes substantially for patients.”
Patients unable to attend an appointment time sent to them are encouraged to phone the hospital on 03 769 7400 to set up
an alternative time.
“As well as ensuring people are seen at a time that better suits, this means the original appointment time can be
scheduled for another patient.”
If travel or transport is an issue for people, the DHB might be able to offer some suggestions. Red Cross runs a service
from Buller to Greymouth and St John runs a shuttle from Hokitika and the Grey Valley to Greymouth. Maori health
provider Poutini Waiora provides assistance for Maori patients as well.
Where people have changed phone numbers or moved recently, they should contact their general practice team, who will
record changes on the shared patient database.