Background BASHH guidelines recommend a follow-up review in the management of some sexually transmitted infections; however, patient non-attendance for booked follow-up appointments leads to inefficiency in service provision. In 2013 we reviewed our booked follow-up appointments and found our non-attendance rate was 31%. The condition with most frequent non-attendance was genital warts, at 38%. In response to this, a specific walk-in warts review (WWR) clinic was introduced and its impact reviewed.
Methods A retrospective review of non-specialist doctor and nurse follow-up appointments for 2 weeks (19/5/14–1/6/14), 6 months following the establishment of the WWR clinic, compared to 2 weeks prior to its introduction (25/2/13–10/3/13).
Results In total 85 patients were given a booked non-specialist follow-up appointment in the 2014 sample, compared to 103 in the 2013 sample. 19 patients attended for warts review (15 in the WWR clinic, 4 booked appointments) in the 2014 sample, compared to 12 patients who attended their booked warts review in the 2013 sample. Overall the non-attendance rate for non-specialist booked reviews was 28% in the 2014 sample, compared to 31% in the 2013 sample (p = 0.68). Non-attendance in the 2014 sample was most frequent for gonorrhoea test of cure, blood tests and vaccines (21%, 13% and 13% of non-attendees, respectively).
Discussion Overall the non-attendance rate for follow-up appointments was not significantly lower following introduction of the WWR clinic. However convenience for patients has improved. Further work is needed to ascertain the optimal way of delivering best practice clinical care whilst ensuring efficient service provision.