The healthcare sector hit the headlines again this week when it was revealed that patients who miss GP appointments are costing NHS England a staggering £216m.
The latest findings uncovered that more than 15m consultations are being wasted per year simply because people fail to turn up, which equates to 1.2m hours of valuable GP time that could be spent caring for people who need medical attention.
The data – which spread like wildfire across all national news outlets – went on to calculate that with each appointment costing an average of £30, the monies concerned could pay for the annual salary of more than 2,300 full-time doctors. Or, in treatment terms, the figure would be said to cover 58,000 hip operations or 220,000 cataract operations.
So why has this article caught Vapour’s attention?
In October 2018, we hit the headlines ourselves with our launch of TeleDOC – a free, secure video consultation tool that we purposefully developed to reduce the strain and costs imposed on the NHS, whilst improving convenience for patients.
Designed to save time and money it creates a safe, convenient and effortless way for ‘patients’ to visit their doctor, whilst encouraging a more practical approach to healthcare. It enables flexibility wherever the patient – or doctor – may be. So, if someone is too ill to travel, has contagious symptoms or cannot get to the surgery in time, the appointment can still go ahead via video chat.
And in only a matter of days following the launch, TeleDOC caught the attention of health ministers (watch this space for a progress update following our meeting to discuss what’s possible!)
Commenting on evolving healthcare pressures, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer said: “This is a complex landscape. Many GP surgeries have begun to overbook to accommodate some inevitable no-shows, which will of course have an impact on this data. But the extent to which appointments are being missed is an escalating problem that needs to be addressed quickly. GPs’ time is extremely precious, especially in the face of rising patient demand and already-strained budgets.
“We’ve seen video-led healthcare success in the US and the technology exists to make this a reality in the UK. The eyewatering cost of missed appointments which hit the headlines at the turn of the New Year will surely prove the catalyst for change.”
Interested in more info about TeleDOC?