GP Journal Club: Sunday 20 June 2021, 19:00 (BST)

Which patients miss appointments and why?

Co-chair: Prof Carolyn Chew-Graham (@CizCG)

Professor of General Practice Research, Keele University
Chair of the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC)


Carolyn Chew-Graham is a GP Principal in Central Manchester, Professor of General Practice Research at Keele University, Honorary Professor of Primary Care Mental Health at Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust, Honorary Professor of Primary Care, University of Manchester, and Visiting Professor at the University of York.

Carolyn’s main areas of interest and expertise include the primary care management of people with mental health problems, multiple health conditions and unexplained symptoms; and the mental health and wellbeing of clinicians. She has qualitative research methods expertise, drawing on theories from social sciences and psychology, but always with a focus on clinical practice – trying to answer questions that are important to patients, their families, health care professionals and the NHS.

Carolyn chairs the RCGP ‘Research Paper of the Year’ panel and is ‘Curriculum Advisor, Mental Health’. She is Chair of the Society for Academic Primary Care.

Carolyn is currently a member of the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group Depression (update) and a standing member of a NICE Quality Standards Advisory Group - work which directly impacts on commissioning decisions and patient care. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Health Expectations.

ORCID Link for publications



Which patients miss appointments with general practice and the reasons why: a systematic review - Joanne Parsons, Carol Bryce and Helen Atherton

Discussion questions

  1. What approach do you or your practice take to missed appointments on a day-to-day basis?
  2. Comorbidity and mental health problems seem to make missing appointments more likely – is this something that you recognise? What can you or your practice do to respond to this finding?
  3. People in practices in more deprived areas seem more likely to miss appointments. How might these practices approach this?
  4. Pre-booked appointments, well in advance of the appointment time, seem to make missing the appointment more likely. How might you or your practice respond to this finding?
  5. The authors suggest that because parent factors influence missed appointments for children, more remote consulting is needed. What do you think about this – for children, for all patients? How have you responded to the pandemic restrictions?

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