New Survey Shows UK Public Willing to Pay £10 for Missed GP Appointments to Support the NHS Amid Widespread Concerns About Government Spending on Healthcare

Geschrieben am 08-02-2016

Chertsey, England (ots/PRNewswire) -

Poll conducted in advance of this year's ASTELLAS INNOVATION
DEBATE(TM) also demonstrates public are open to an additional 'health
tax' to support improved NHS services, but clinicians fear additional
charges will hit the poorest hardest

Although the NHS is ranked as one of the institutions that makes
people 'most proud to be British'[1], a new poll commissioned by
Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd, highlights that 91% of people feel that
the health service is in need of change[2]. In particular, shorter
waiting times (36% of respondents) and improved access to medicines
(30%) rank most highly as the areas in need of greatest reform.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: http://www.mult

With only 1 in 4 of respondents agreeing that the Government
currently spends enough on health, the survey reveals that those
polled would be willing to accept an average charge of £10 for a
missed GP appointment in order to improve service levels. The people
polled also said they would be willing to pay an average of £170 per
year in additional income tax for healthcare funding - which could
result in approximately £5 billion in additional tax revenue for the
Treasury[3]. In addition to these charges, 39% of those polled would
be willing to accept an additional charge if it meant quicker access
to healthcare services and 44% of those polled would be willing to
accept additional charges if it meant access to newer and potentially
more effective medicines.

It is estimated that more than 12 million GP appointments are
missed each year, costing the NHS in excess of £162 million[4]. This
means, over 8 appointments are missed per week for every full-time
GP, with missed appointments leading to longer waiting times for
patients[5]. The new survey shows that over 70% of respondents would
be willing to pay a charge for a missed appointment; of those who
were willing to pay, the average accepted charge would be £10.83[2].
In addition, half of those polled would also be willing to accept an
appointment with our doctor by webcam if it could make it easier to
get an appointment.

At present, however, clinical opinion remains resistant to the
introduction of charges, with some leading clinicians fearing that
such charges will only hit the most vulnerable and in need of
support. Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Healthcare
and panellist at this year's Innovation Debate comments: "Charging
people to attend their GP would be a false economy, because some
people (especially poor people) with early, treatable disease would
delay attending until their symptoms got a bit worse. Inevitably,
this will mean that we will fail to diagnose some cancers until they
have spread; we will not pick up some type 2 diabetes until it has
damaged the eyes and the kidneys; and we will push some heart attacks
and strokes beyond the window when early treatments could have
improved survival."

"Furthermore, we will add a layer of expensive paperwork to the
system, which will eat into any savings. I have no doubt that this
strategy will save little money in the short term and will generate
huge financial and human costs in the longer term."

Others suggest that the reduction of missed appointments
(sometimes referred to as DNAs - 'did not attends') can be realised
through supply of more timely appointments. Virginia Patania,
Practice Manager at the Jubilee Street Practice, comments that:
"There is evidence to demonstrate that DNA rates are closely linked
to delays between appointments and the time of their booking. Same
day or 48-hour clinical triage systems demonstrate not only higher
levels of patient satisfaction and better use of limited clinical
resource, but DNA rates of 2% or less. This suggests that investment
would be most wisely directed towards refining out of date, over
stretched appointment systems, rather than on financially penalizing
patients in need of care."

'Greater patient responsibility for managing their own health' was
the number one response given by healthcare professionals in a
separate Astellas survey when asked 'what would most improve our
healthcare system overall', followed closely by 'increased funding'

Other innovative approaches to reduce missed attendance have been
trialled by Imperial College London, the Department of Health and the
Behavioural Insights Team, which looked at the causal relationship
between sending patients text messages and the rate of missed
hospital appointments[7]. The study found that sending a text to the
patient ahead of an appointment stating the cost of the appointment
had the most significant impact on reducing missed appointments (by
23%), in comparison to other interventions including texts that
didn't include a cost.

As part of this year's debate, we also asked leading authorities
in the NHS, as well as members of the public, what they would be
happy to see go from the NHS in order to balance the books. A film
capturing these insights can be found here (http://www.innovationdeba

Follow the debate on Twitter via @AstellasINNOV8 or


Date of preparation: February 2016


1. Ipsos MORI, What it means to be British: Final Topline results,
February 2012. Available online via:
2. Astellas Data on File. Astellas Innovation Debate combined survey
findings - APEL/15/0097/EU
3. Calculations based on HMRC projections for number of basic and
higher-rate taxpayers in England in 2015-15 (est - 28,650,000),
with each paying an additional annual contribution of £170.16.
HMRC statistics are available online here (Table 2.1): https://www
4. NHS England, NHS England using technology to beat cost of missed
appointments, March 2014. Available online via:
5. GP Online, Exclusive: Patients fail to show up for 14m GP
appointments a year, June 2015. Available online via: http://www.g
6. Astellas Date on File. Astellas Innovation Debate HCP Survey -
7. Department of Health, Research and analysis: A zero cost way to
reduce missed hospital appointments, January 2016. Available
online via: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-mi

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140522/689211 )



ots Originaltext: Astellas Pharma GmbH
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Emma White
Communications Manager
Astellas Pharma EMEA
Mobile: +44-(0)7786-312-623
Email: emma.white@astellas.com


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