We’re all acutely aware of the pressure our bellowed NHS is under at the moment. From the perspective of the national press, the NHS is collapsing from a lack of funding and recent findings from UK solicitors, Your Legal Friend suggests that 86% of the public is aware of the publicised pressures the NHS is under.
The 2,000 people survey stressed a significant outcome from this consciousness, which is that we seem to be disregarding our follow up appointments, or worse, postponing non urgent treatment in order to ease the burden on the NHS. Taking on this burden from a personal point of view, could result in a much larger public problem, with declining health resulting in larger pressures on the NHS.
Recent NHS data has suggested that more people than ever are waiting longer than the official 18 week target for non urgent treatment. Your Legal Friend found in their survey that, 80% of us would wait a month before we chase up an expected follow up appointment. This is dangerous, but there are things we can do to prioritise our health, while still easing the burden on the NHS:
- Chase it up!
Lost follow up appointments can be a huge annoyance, not only for you, but for the NHS too. As organisational burdens see more people being exposed to the dangers of carelessness, it’s imperative that you remain on top of your own care. Ask for key dates during appointments, keep a diary of when you should have heard news by and when you should chase up any follow ups. You are not being a pest, you are helping to keep your care on track.
- Keep records
Keeping a symptom journal before you go to see your GP demonstrates just how seriously you are taking your sickness and helps them to get a fuller picture of your issues. The average GP appointment is meant to last up to 15 minutes. That is a very little expanse of time in which to identify a problem, so keeping a wellbeing record provides both you and your healthcare professional with a consistent version of your symptoms.
- Use resources thoughtfully
Use resources considerately by trying the NHS website before you go to see a doctor, it will help you to determine if you need a GP appointment, a trip to a&e or merely a visit to the pharmacy.