DNA (Did Not Attend) Policy

Dealing with patients who fail to attend booked appointments

The NHS Constitution sets out clearly what patients, the public and staff can expect from the NHS and what the NHS expects from them in return. There are things that we can all do for

ourselves and for one another to help it work effectively, and to ensure resources are used responsibly. This includes:

  • Keeping appointments, or cancelling within reasonable time.

Failing to attend a booked appointment, not only wastes practice resources, it denies another patient the opportunity to be seen.

Cancellations can be taken by phone on 01538 753114 or online via SystmOnline

A ‘DNA’ occurs when a patient either:

  • Fails to keep an appointment without notifying the surgery
  • Cancels an appointment with so little notice it impossible to offer the appointment to another patient.

On these occasions an entry is recorded in the patient’s medical record. A monthly search is conducted to identify patients who have a record of multiple DNA entries.

  1. When a patient has failed to keep two appointments within a twelve month period, a letter will be sent detailing the appointments that were missed and requesting the patient a) contact the practice with a reason and b) take care to avoid a re-occurrence.
  2. If the patient fails to attend a further appointment within a twelve month period, a further letter will be sent to advise them of the missed appointment and also advise that, if a further appointment is missed then the patient will be at risk of de-registration. When three DNAs have occurred within a short period of time, the practice may decide to withdraw the option of bookable appointments for a defined time period. 
  3. If the patient misses a fourth appointment within a twelve month period, their removal from the practice list without further notice will be considered.


The practice will take into account mitigating medical circumstances prior to issuing letters under this policy but may contact patients and/or carers to discuss repeated non-attendance.