‌Serial missed appointments in the NHS

This Scottish big data project investigated the epidemiology of patterns of missed appointments in the NHS. 

Photo of healthcare worker waiting for patient

Explore our findings about patient and GP practice demographic factors, morbidity and mortality outcomes.

Missingness in healthcare

Our paper about patterns of missed appointments and associations with morbidity and mortality outcomes won the prestigious Royal College of GPs health service research paper of the year 2019. Andrea Williamson the principal investigator talks about why this paper is so important for an influence for change.

A new project (short title "Missingness interventions") funded by NIHR started in early December 2022 and will run until the end of  February 2025. Our aim is to develop a theoretically informed understanding of "missingness" from patient, professional and policy perspectives with the intent of co-producing a complex intervention with multiple components for primary care to test in a future study. Find out more about this work

Research team




Related work

  • Reflections on an international workshop on "missingness" in healthcare
    Dr Andrea Williamson, Dr Ross McQueenie (NAPCRG 2019)
    This report is from a workshop at an international primary care conference which explored the factors that contribute to "missingness" in health care in a range of high income country health care systems. It will inform future work on the topic.
  • Ross Innes, BSc Global Health in a Primary Care Context undergraduate student, 2016-2017 (supervisors Dr Andrea Williamson, Dr Ross McQueenie and Dr Ula Chetty) conducted a small qualitative research study called Managing to attend appointments- what works and what stymies engagement in health care?
    This explored the lived experience of experts by experience - people who have had significant adversity and have struggled to attend health care appointments, and the professionals who have cared for them. Participants were recruited from voluntary sector organisations in homelessness and substance use. This small project demonstrated it is possible to recruit participants with lived experience of serially missing health appointments. It will inform the future development of strategies and health service design to reduce serial missed appointments in the NHS.

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