Why doesn't the NHS charge for missed GP appointments? Watch

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Lady Comstock
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If you miss an appointment, haven't informed beforehand and cannot provide evidence as to why you reasonably needed to miss it within 14 days, you are charged £x amount and it incremently increases by £x if you fail to pay it.

Why on earth is this not in place?
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hellodave5
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I saw a GP said this in a discussion in the reduction of wastage.
I personally think it would be a good idea!
If you miss it, you pay for it: seems fair
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Livvyxo
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Agreed, actually.
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Lionheart96
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Sounds perfectly reasonable
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mrs_bellamy
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This would penalise the most vulnerable, who are more likely to miss appointments and less able to provide evidence of their reason. If you are elderly or sick the extra burden of providing evidence for missed appointments or of a charge would be very significant. Do you really want a pensioner who forgets an appointment to be charged each time? There is also a big risk of people not making appointments due to fear of the charge, meaning they present later in their illness, or present somewhere else such as A&E, increasing cost to the NHS and potentially resulting in a poorer outcome for the patient.
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Lawrence1234
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Because then the NHS wouldn't be free at the point of service. What would you count as reasonable evidence for missing an appointment and what wouldn't count? What happens to the people unable to pay a fee for missing an appointment? Are they then saddled with an ever increasing debt that's gaining interest?
Who uses the NHS the most? Vulnerable old people that's who you are targeting with this. Maybe just think before you speak sometimes.
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Lawrence1234
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(Original post by mrs_bellamy)
This would penalise the most vulnerable, who are more likely to miss appointments and less able to provide evidence of their reason. If you are elderly or sick the extra burden of providing evidence for missed appointments or of a charge would be very significant. Do you really want a pensioner who forgets an appointment to be charged each time? There is also a big risk of people not making appointments due to fear of the charge, meaning they present later in their illness, or present somewhere else such as A&E, increasing cost to the NHS and potentially resulting in a poorer outcome for the patient.
Ha thanks for saying what I wanted to say much more eloquently.
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hellodave5
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(Original post by mrs_bellamy)
This would penalise the most vulnerable, who are more likely to miss appointments and less able to provide evidence of their reason. If you are elderly or sick the extra burden of providing evidence for missed appointments or of a charge would be very significant. Do you really want a pensioner who forgets an appointment to be charged each time? There is also a big risk of people not making appointments due to fear of the charge, meaning they present later in their illness, or present somewhere else such as A&E, increasing cost to the NHS and potentially resulting in a poorer outcome for the patient.
Interesting!

Would it be possible for a relative fine dependent on income, and exceptions to be made for people with medical reasons for forgetting/missing the appointment (though imagine this may be terribly arbitrary)?

I didn't think about the implications of people being less likely to present with the illness and to the GP, rather than A&E. Great point.
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Lionheart96
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(Original post by mrs_bellamy)
This would penalise the most vulnerable, who are more likely to miss appointments and less able to provide evidence of their reason. If you are elderly or sick the extra burden of providing evidence for missed appointments or of a charge would be very significant. Do you really want a pensioner who forgets an appointment to be charged each time? There is also a big risk of people not making appointments due to fear of the charge, meaning they present later in their illness, or present somewhere else such as A&E, increasing cost to the NHS and potentially resulting in a poorer outcome for the patient.
Yes. With the amount of reminders available if they're constantly forgetting their appointments then they should be charged for wasting precious time and resources.
they can cancel the appointment beforehand without being charged, they would only be charged if they never turn up and don't present a valid reason. They can always reschedule, ask for a phone consultation or a doctors visit if its an emergency.
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Lady Comstock
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(Original post by mrs_bellamy)
This would penalise the most vulnerable, who are more likely to miss appointments and less able to provide evidence of their reason. If you are elderly or sick the extra burden of providing evidence for missed appointments or of a charge would be very significant. Do you really want a pensioner who forgets an appointment to be charged each time? There is also a big risk of people not making appointments due to fear of the charge, meaning they present later in their illness, or present somewhere else such as A&E, increasing cost to the NHS and potentially resulting in a poorer outcome for the patient.
Old or not, you should take responsibility. Write an appointment on a big bit of paper and stick in on your wall if you're prone to forgetfulness!

Unless you have a good reason, there is absolutely no excuse for missing a GP appointment and not having informed them beforehand.

Too much mollycoddling.
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mrs_bellamy
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(Original post by Lionheart96)
Yes. With the amount of reminders available if they're constantly forgetting their appointments then they should be charged for wasting precious time and resources.
they can cancel the appointment beforehand without being charged, they would only be charged if they never turn up and don't present a valid reason. They can always reschedule, ask for a phone consultation or a doctors visit if its an emergency.
What reminders do they have available to them, other than a date and time on an appointment card? What counts as a 'valid' reason for missing an appointment and who would decide this and administer the fines? Even just employing people to implement this sounds very expensive, before you go on to consider the other points I made above.
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Lady Comstock
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(Original post by mrs_bellamy)
What reminders do they have available to them, other than a date and time on an appointment card? What counts as a 'valid' reason for missing an appointment and who would decide this and administer the fines? Even just employing people to implement this sounds very expensive, before you go on to consider the other points I made above.
What about a deposit system then? Pay £5-10 for an appointment and get it refunded when the doctor presses a button to confirm you attended?
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mrs_bellamy
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
What about a deposit system then? Pay £5-10 for an appointment and get it refunded when the doctor presses a button to confirm you attended?
So its an extra piece of administration for GPs? Do you think many of them would be willing to judge their patients reason for non-attendance as deserving of a fine when it could jeopardise their relationship with their patients? If the patient felt they had been charged unfairly who would deal with this, the GP also?
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Lady Comstock
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(Original post by mrs_bellamy)
So its an extra piece of administration for GPs? Do you think many of them would be willing to judge their patients reason for non-attendance as deserving of a fine when it could jeopardise their relationship with their patients? If the patient felt they had been charged unfairly who would deal with this, the GP also?
So what's your solution to the problem of missed appointments? Allow people to keep taking the piss?
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Kittiara
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Whilst I can see the arguments for a charge, there are definite arguments against it. Some people with mental health problems have trouble keeping appointments due to stress, anxiety, depression etc. Appointments can be a real problem for people with sleep disorders. Elderly people might be forgetful. Those are probably the kind of people who would then put off making an appointment just in case they end up missing it, so something easily treatable might turn into something worse.

There will always be problems with the NHS. Some people don't go to their GP until they see no other option, whilst they should have gone a lot sooner. Some people constantly turn up for the smallest thing that will just go away on its own. Weekends at A & E are horrible because of all the people off their heads on drink and drugs. That's what you get with a universal health service, though. It would be nice if people were a bit more sensible, but everyone has their issues.

I'd personally much rather pay a bit more in tax to preserve the NHS than see the introduction of charges that would affect the poor and vulnerable.
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Illegal Algebra
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I agree with this idea. Time is money, so naturally, time wasted = money gained.
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Per
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When you miss an appointment you should just have your registration removed from that office and then have to re-register in order to make a new appointment. It's what they do at my university Dr's centre and it's quite effective at making people call in if they're going to miss an appointment, saves them the hassle of re-registering.
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Alfissti
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
So what's your solution to the problem of missed appointments? Allow people to keep taking the piss?
That's the problem with most modern societies, it is always excuses after excuses which in the end results in nothing ever being done or improved which is probably the reason why most of the systems in place are one by one failing miserably.
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Lionheart96
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(Original post by Alfissti)
That's the problem with most modern societies, it is always excuses after excuses which in the end results in nothing ever being done or improved which is probably the reason why most of the systems in place are one by one failing miserably.
yep, couldn't agree more.
We should charge people who constantly miss appointments as they are wasting money and resources. Maybe next time they won't miss the appointments.appointments .
Whilst we are at it, people who clog up a & e because they don't know when to stop drinking should also face a fine. That should help the alcoholism problem in this country somewhat
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nexttime
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Chasing up all these debts, or holding all of these deposits, would be a nightmare. You'd need vqrious forms for those that don't have the money, the people that forget would invariably be the elderly... it would simply not be worth it.

GPs have so much paperwork to do anyway, plus tend to run behind - a missed appointment might be a source of irritation to GPs, but actually it probably doesn't reduce efficiency by very much at all.
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