A curious bit of NHS accountancy

  bumpkin 20:55 14 Oct 2018
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A recently had to visit an eye casualty clinic, waiting time 1 to 4hrs. Preference given to the most urgent after an initial assesment which I completely agree with. Having been treated myself I was told to make an appointment for a weeks time, OK so far but it is not an appointment as such but an arrival time slot, you still have to wait your turn 1 to 4hrs. That I don't mind either as they were very good. What puzzles me hence the thread title was that I was sent a text reminder saying that a missed appointment costs them £130. How do they work that one out if they do not know how many people are going walk in on any particular day or what treatment they will need.

  Aitchbee 21:40 14 Oct 2018

I'll guess they base that ballpark figure on what a equivalent private [ie. non NHS] consultation would cost, on average.

  wee eddie 21:47 14 Oct 2018

If you check out Radio 4's web site, their program "More or Less" did an item on just that a few months ago.

  Forum Editor 17:49 15 Oct 2018

It's an average cost, based on the cost of the medical staff who have to be there, the lights that are on, the machinery that runs, and all the other numerous overheads that running a hospital clinic involves.

Over time, a calculation can be made for an average appointment cost, and statistics are available to calculate how many (on average) people will arrive at any given time on any given day, and what the spread of treatments will be.

It's not rocket science, once you have the historical data.

  bumpkin 19:40 15 Oct 2018

**It's an average cost, based on the cost of the medical staff who have to be there, the lights that are on, the machinery that runs, and all the other numerous overheads that running a hospital clinic involves.

Over time, a calculation can be made for an average appointment cost, and statistics are available **

These costs have to be met anyway whether a patient turns up or not. We all know statistics can be made to say almost anything depending on their interpretation. Taking a different view, missed appointments should save money as no treatment or medication has to be paid for.

I would like to add that I have little time for those that do not attend without a valid reason and if they were charged for such they may be a little more considerate in future or at least make sure that they cancel in reasonable time.

  wee eddie 20:44 15 Oct 2018

It could be said that, as most appointments overrun, someone not showing up, later in the day anyway, has a negative cost as it reduces Staff Overtime

  bumpkin 21:49 15 Oct 2018

It could be said that, as most appointments overrun, someone not showing up, later in the day anyway, has a negative cost as it reduces Staff Overtime

A valid point so from an accountants point of view it would be cheaper to pay people not to turn up. Do we want to live in a society run by accountants I certainly don't. Here is an example told to me by a very close relative who worked for a London Borough, (if you have worked there for many years i.e 20 years or so, it is cheaper for them to make you redundant just before retirement and pay the appropriate amount before you qualify for your pension) A sad world.

  wee eddie 22:58 15 Oct 2018

You may have to sign in to listen "More or less" on NHS Costs

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