DNA Policy


Missed appointments are classified as “Did Not Attend” (DNA) – i.e. the patient did not turn up for the appointment and did not contact the surgery in advance to cancel/change appointment.

The effects of these are:

  • An increase in the waiting time for appointments
  • Frustration for both staff and patients
  • A waste of resources
  • A potential risk to the health of the patient


The policy will be displayed in the reception waiting area and on the surgery website.

If a patient fails to attend a pre-booked appointment on more than 3 occasions in the space of 12 months, an informal warning letter will be sent to the patient, advising them that a further occurrence could risk removal from the practice.

Whilst it is important to be consistent, there will be exceptions on an individual case-by-case basis.

If the patient fails to attend another appointment, the matter will be discussed at a practice meeting and a majority agreement will be reached as to whether the patient will be removed from the practice list. In this case a formal warning letter will be issued and any further failed appointments will mean that the patient will be removed from our list.

Warning letters are valid for a period of 12 months.

The DNA must be coded onto the clinical system at each non-attendance.

The practice manager will be responsible for the issue of a monthly DNA clinical system report by clinician for clinician review. The clinician will then take the responsibility for informing the practice manager to send out letters to patients on an individual case-by-case basis.

View our Explanation Leaflet.