Article Text

Reducing non-attendance rates in the general paediatric clinic
  1. R McMillan,
  2. R Jayatunga
  1. Paediatrics, Sandwell Hospital, Birmingham, UK


Aims Non-attendance of patients for clinic appointments is a significant problem within the healthcare system. The effect of non-attendance leads to poor utilisation of clinic time, a reduction in the overall management of the patient and a wider issue of incurring cost to the NHS.1 The aim of this study is to identify whether implementing a sticker reminder system can reduce the non-attendance rate within the general paediatric clinic.

Methods A sticker reminder system was implemented from December 2010 to July 2011 in the general paediatric clinic (New and Review clinics). During the clinic if a follow-up appointment was offered a sticker was given to the patient (or parents) with the date and time of the follow-up appointment. The patients who had received stickers were recorded on the clinic lists. A retrospective analysis of patients' activity via the computer system (CDA) was commenced in November to identify the proportion of patients who had attended their follow-up appointment.

Results The non-attendance rate was 9.23% for all patients who had been given stickers (total of 65 patients), calculated for the period between December 2010 and July 2011 (excluding 2 patients who were not given stickers and 4 whose appointments were in the future).

The control non-attendance rate was 18.4%, which was calculated from follow-up clinics in December 2009 to July 2010. There was found to be a significant difference (p<0.05) between the intervention group and the non-intervention group (χ2 = 4.05).

Conclusion The sticker implementation significantly improved attendance rates in the general paediatric clinic. This is a simple and non-expensive intervention which will be easy to implement on a wider scale. It is hoped that by reducing the non-attendance rates throughout the trust it will improve the overall management of the patient and on a wider scale reduce the cost to the NHS.

Abstract G210(P) Table 1

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.