The NHS is a national treasure. We use it all the time and never think about the costs associated with our health care. Unfortunately, we are keenly aware of the pressures that our national health service is under. From the perspective of our papers, the NHS is buckling under a lack of funding and according to a recent survey from UK solicitors, Your Legal Friend, 86% of the public is aware of the publicised pressures the NHS is under.
The 2,000 strong survey highlighted an important fallout from this awareness, that we seem to be neglecting to chase up our follow up appointments, or worse, delaying non urgent treatment in order to ease the burden on the NHS. The problem with taking on this burden from a personal point of view, is that you are compromising your health in the process.
Recent NHS data suggested that more people than ever are waiting longer than the official 18 week target for non urgent treatment. According to Your Legal Friend, 80% of us would wait a month before we chase up an expected follow up appointment. So what can we do to be uncompromising when it comes to our health, but still ease the pressure on the NHS?
- Follow up!
Missed follow up appointments can be a huge headache, not just for you but for the NHS. As administrative pressures see more people being exposed to the risks of negligence, it’s important that you stay on top of your own care plan. Ask for important dates during appointments, ask when you should follow up by if you’ve not hear anything and put it all in a diary. You are not being a nuisance!
- Keep notes
Keeping a symptom diary before you go to see your doctor shows how seriously you are taking your illness and gives them much more information to work with. The average GP appointment is supposed to be up to 15 minutes. That is a very short amount of time in which to diagnose a problem, keeping a health diary provides both you and your healthcare professional with a reliable account of your symptoms.
- Use resources thoughtfully
We’ve all seen the advertisements showing how expensive an ambulance call out can be. Use resources thoughtfully by checking online first to see if you need a GP appointment, a trip to a&e or simply a visit to the pharmacy.