Saving Royal Derby potentially £1.2m every year by reducing DNA rates to 5.4%


For the Royal Derby Hospital the contributing factors to a high DNA rate included:

  • An ageing population where more elderly patients are using the hospital services but have problems getting to and from clinics
  • Transport and the relatively high cost of hospital parking deters patients from making the journey
  • Many individuals view the NHS as a gift and feel no responsibility to notify the hospital of their failure to attend
  • Some appointments are booked well in advance thereby increasing the chance of an individual forgetting the appointment all together

‘At Derby, we have managed to benefit from a reduction in over 10,000 missed appointments every year through the implementation of the excellent Appointment Management service from Healthcare Communications. I see no reason why this figure can’t continue to improve and income gains to increase further as we look to introduce more technology over time.’

Andy March, Planned Care Transformation Manager, Royal Derby Hospitals.


To reduce DNA’s by implementing new communication technologies and effective patient awareness campaigns, minimising wasted resources and decreasing costs.

The benefits

DNA’s at Derby were between 8% and 9% per month 5 years ago, severely impacting the Trust in terms of expense and wasted consultancy time.

As at October 2013, the benefits from implementing Healthcare Communications Appointment Management include:

  • A cost saving  of potentially £1.2m annually based on £120 per appointment
  • The introduction of IVM continued to lower DNA rates to between 5.4% and 6%
  • A reduction of over 10,000 missed appointments per year
  • The development of more intelligence as to why the hospital suffers from DNA’s, enabling greater insight and improved planning.

In summary

The reduction in DNA rates has been pleasing for everyone at the Royal Derby Hospital as the money saved can be re-invested back in to the hospital to the benefit of other departments and their patients. Andy March is confident that by working with Healthcare Communications, DNA’s will continue to reduce and an even lower rate will surely be achieved in the near future.