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Effects of missing a doctors appointment

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Effects of missing a Doctors appointment

No-shows are a problem for both doctors and patients.
When a patient misses a doctor/nurse appointment, a follow-up or specialist appointment they are not receiving the care recommended by their doctor/nurse. This could result in the patient becoming more ill and requiring additional time off work, laying an extra burden on colleagues and bosses, there is also the risk of infecting others thus carrying additional burdens as more staff may require time of work or extra appointments.

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All of this holds a risk of missing deadlines, looking unprofessional and potentially disrupting the training of personnel on unit. Missing an appointment can also mean missing vital treatment, diagnosis or monitoring, and may lead to long term health problems. It is particularly crucial at DISC as this is predominately a training unit, and a trainee having to wait longer for an appointment could be detrimental to their training thus having a knock on effect to other course members and instructors.

But also if it was the instructor that couldn’t get an appointment again this could hinder training. On military units the doctors play a pivotal role in so many aspects of military out put, they play a part in Out of Area Preps, referrals to Physio, referrals to specialists and diagnosis.

The doctors play a big part in keeping us operationally fit which contributes massively to the bigger picture. Missing an appointment could have a knock on effect to every aspect of military life, yourself may become a burden, you could infect others making them a burden, which could result in loss of training. You may not be operationally fit to meet your duties, someone else then may be asked to step in for you, but then someone will have to step up to full fill their duties. And as you see it can go round and round in a viscous circle. And in this current climate with all 3 forces being reduced massively we are already massively stretched for manpower, we are already burdened by the lack of staff. Missed appointments may result in increased provider frustration,decreased levels of provider empathy and lower quality patient–provider communication.

In public missed appointments are costing the NHS more than £160m a year, on a military establishment no figures are available as to the cost for missed appointments. But in my opinion it will be quite high, if you take into account the man hours, Staff, equipment and loss of training I believe the cost would be staggering. In addition to being a significant cost to practices, missed appointments lead to longer waiting times for patients wishing to book an appointment and to an increase in unnecessary visits to A&E. A&E are stretched at the best of times and adding strain through missing appointments is detrimental to the efficiency of the emergency services, the emergency services are probably the most important service as its there to saves lives.

There is already a campaign against people overcrowding A&E with conditions that could be dealt with by your GP, but if they cant get an appointment they may feel they have no choice! Then the people who have appointments with a GP don’t attend resulting in loss of man hours, a loss of money and the added strain to the emergency services. Whilst a patient may have a genuine reason for missing an appointment, the cumulative effect of patients not attending their appointments is substantial for practices. If people can not attend appointments for whatever reason then they should cancel it or re-arrange the appointment, then the appointment could be offered to someone else, and more than anything its common courtesy! We all know how it feels when someone doesn’t turn up when were expecting them. There is talk of the NHS fining people who do not attend their appointments as a deterrent and maybe a way of recouping some of the money wasted.

There is a lot of debate about this, the NHS says ‘it goes against their ethos’, it would also cost a lot of money initially to put the system in place probably costing more than the scheme would bring in, but a lot of GP’s are backing the system as they believe it would decrease the number of missed appointments. As the population ever increases doctors are being over stretched more than ever meaning every appointment slot is valuable, GP’s are then forced to discharged patients that repeatedly offend for missing appointments which leads to complaints, thus creating more work for the surgery staff and doctors! Then when the said patient applies to re-register at the surgery or applies to register at a different surgery more man hours are consumed. On researching and writing about this subject it has become apparent that for the sake of one missed appointment the effects are detrimental to a lot of factors and services.

I do feel that within the NHS a system should be in place to remind patients of an appointment like a txting service as it would be a lot more cost effective than a missed appointment, however in the military this is very unlikely to happen because of restrictions and budgets. A missed appointment in the military is down to bad administration, deploying last minute, compassionate leave or work/training commitments, all I feel are sufficient excuses with the exception of ‘bad administration’ this is a personal issue that you as an individual should take steps to prevent, by the use of a diary, setting an alarm on your phone or computer or simply writing it on a board/piece of paper that you will see. Having missed an appointment which has resulted in me having to write about this subject I feel utterly disappointed in myself and can only apologise for the said offence. I will endeavour to ensure that this will never happen again as it results in a waste of time, money, resources and man power that we simply cannot afford.

‘Every missed appointment is a wasted opportunity for another patient’.

Cite this Effects of missing a doctors appointment

Effects of missing a doctors appointment. (2016, May 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/effects-of-missing-a-doctors-appointment/

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