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Whilst NHS services across Dorset are working hard to get back to normal following the initial lockdown period there is still a huge demand which is likely to increase as we approach the winter months.

In order to help local services, people are being asked to get in touch to rearrange as soon as they can if they are unable to make an appointment.

By notifying us that you are no longer able to attend your appointment you can support us to enable other patients to get the help they need more quickly.

Every year thousands of hospital and GP appointments are missed.

In the first six months of 2020 there were over 20,000 missed hospital appointments across Dorset – meaning one in five people with an appointment failed to attend.

A spokesperson said “We recognise that people may have concerns about visiting healthcare settings, however we would like to reassure people we are doing everything we can to make it safe for patients.

Appointment slots are in demand across the whole of the health and care system and when people fail to turn up, it is a lost opportunity for another patient to be seen more quickly.

Whether your appointment is a GP practice, hospital, community clinic or within urgent care, simply not turning up is unacceptable as it is making it harder for someone else to be seen.”

If you are unable to make your appointment, please use the email or telephone number on your letter to let the department know. If you have been offered a virtual appointment e.g.  a video consultation, it is important to let the service know if you cannot make that appointment too.