Social media sites are being used to warn patients of the consequences of missing appointments.
GP practices in Stoke-on-Trent are communicating with patients through Facebook, with one practice informing patients of 96 missed GP appointments and 215 missed nurse appointments.
In total, these missed appointments created 61 hours of wasted time in October alone, according to Pulse.
Dr Ruth Chambers, whose Furlong Medical Centre currently has 623 ‘likes’ on Facebook believes that alerting patients as to the consequences of no-shows will reduce the number of people who fail to attend.
She said: “The discussion this generates is helpful, as hopefully people will begin to learn to tell practices in advance if they can’t make their appointment so it can be given to someone else who needs it.”
In the past six months the reach of social media posts from surgeries in the area has exceeded 250,000 and a third of Stoke’s practices are currently taking to Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to distribute local healthcare news.
Stoke-on-Trent CCG says that Stoke residents have taken a “real interest” in GP practices’ online presence, with more than 11,000 people regularly interacting with practices via Facebook.
GPs are also creating private Facebook groups to introduce patients with similar conditions to one another, in an attempt to create a network of support helping them manage their conditions more effectively.