A team of purple morphsuit-clad “memory joggers” have been popping up at different locations across Leeds to remind the public to cancel their unwanted GP appointments.
The memory joggers will make a surprise appearance at various points throughout the summer, taking part in park runs, appearing at community events and jogging past busy footfall areas of the city, with the aim of reminding people to take action to ensure they cancel their GP appointment if they no longer need it.
Patients forgetting to cancel their unwanted GP appointments prevent someone else from being seen and contribute to a huge strain on time and resource within the NHS. In Leeds, between April and September last year, there were 103,653 missed appointments – nearly 4% of all those made. Cutting the number of missed appointments is therefore vital for improving patients’ access to health services.
According to Dr Gordon Sinclair, Clinical Chair for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a GP at Burton Croft Medical Centre in Headingley, “The main reason for the high number of missed appointments is that patients just forget about them! The aim of the memory joggers is to raise awareness of the problem of missed appointments and encourage people to do something to remind them to attend the ones they need and cancel those they don’t.”
Passers-by will be in with a chance of winning a wellbeing prize by snapping a picture of a memory jogger and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #IWontForget to help raise awareness of the issue.
The memory joggers are part of a wider campaign that NHS Leeds CCG is running this summer that urges people to:
- Cancel your appointment by giving your practice a call or going online. All GP practices in Leeds have online services to make it easier to book and cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view your health records – visit your practice website or ask reception for details.
- Make sure your details are up to date so you can receive text or email reminders
- Put your appointment in the diary or an alert in your phone
They’ll also be delivering door drop flyers to over 65,000 homes across Leeds where residents can also enter the competition by taking a photo of the campaign message ‘GP appointment? Can’t make it? Don’t need it? Cancel it!’
You can find out more about the campaign at leedsccg.nhs.uk/DNA
To win a Fitbit, or a health foods hamper, snap and share the Memory Joggers with the hashtag #IWontForget! Take a look at @nhsleeds on Twitter and Facebook for more info and for updates on where the Memory Joggers will be next!