Hospitals in England undertook nearly 125 million outpatient appointments in 2019-20.
Sir Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria hospital trust said: “2/3 outpatients appointments are of very low clinical value and low patient-experience value.”
“If we can look after the patient properly, enable them to access things the way they want to and communicate with them appropriately we can make a significant impact on that.”
Reducing “pointless” follow-ups could be a “game changer” for the overstretched NHS, he added.
Aseptika comments: There has been a radical shift since the pandemic in how patients are and should be active in their care. Initiatives like the NHSX Blood Pressure @HOME programme, and NHS funding of the use of our web-connected monitors at home by patients, now makes this transition possible. If you give us the tools, 8/10 of us can help ourselves. We just need a bit of support every now and again when we are concerned about something.
There is a fear that not everyone can do this, and of course this is correct, they need extra help now. But if 8/10 of us can help ourselves, this leaves space for the 2/10 that can't.
One day in an emergency, we may be the ones needing this extra help. By engaging with Supported Self-Management when it is offered to us, we help our NHS clear the waiting lists for those in urgent need of operations now.