The West Coast DHB has flagged an increase in patients not showing up to appointments as a cause for concern.
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." says Lucas, "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.
“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.”
The DHB has encouraged people to get in contact if they are finding travel or transport an issue.
Red Cross runs a service from Buller to Greymouth and St John runs a shuttle from Hokitika and the Grey Valley to Greymouth.
Māori health provider Poutini Waiora provides assistance for Māori 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.