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Why was this child not brought?
  1. Michael F E Roe1,
  2. Jane V Appleton2,
  3. Catherine Powell3
  1. 1University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  3. 3Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael F E Roe, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; michael.roe{at}

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How do we react to the missed appointment? It is a busy clinic (is there any other type?) and the first reaction is likely to be relief. Then there is the realisation that some thought may need to be applied to the child who was not brought. Then there is the remembrance that there is a policy to be followed. Perhaps, it would have been easier if the child had come to the clinic…

There are a multitude of issues that derive from a missed appointment. It has implications for the child or young person, the parent/carer, the health practitioner for whom the child had the appointment, the referrer, the Trust or other health provider, for Commissioners and possibly for the Care Quality Commission and Local Safeguarding Children Boards among others. It is easy to lose sight of the child or young person in all these.

Even the terminology is open to debate. We have previously argued that ‘Was Not Brought’ (WNB) was a more appropriate nomenclature to use than ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) when applied to children and young people1 and that the reconceptualisation of the DNA as WNB would lead to positive interventions to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.2 Munro has also commented that the change from DNA to WNB is a simple mechanism for triggering a different reaction.3 These three articles stress the need …

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