Reducing missed hospital appointments (UK)

  • 2013

Every year around 8 million people miss their healthcare appointments, costing the NHS almost £1bn.


Two behavioural insights could be used to encourage people to attend their healthcare appointments:

  • Salience. People’s attention is drawn to what is new and/or seems relevant. Making appointment information more salient could reduce the number of missed slots.
  • Timely prompts. Giving people reminders at the right time can help them to take action.

We sent patients text reminders highlighting that their appointment had monetary value.

Result & Impact

The number of missed hospital appointments fell by 25 per cent.