Each year in the NHS there are ‘follow-up’ outpatient appointments where patients are asked to return to hospital to have their progress checked, to undergo tests, or to get test results. Whilst some of these appointments are clinically required, a large proportion could be done differently.
The idea is that for some patients, follow-up appointments wouldn’t have to mean a traditional face to face visit to the hospital, and that telephone calls, online services or an appointment at their GP practice could be used instead.
This would free up resources for the treatment of new patients, and would save people time and money by not having to attend the hospital when they don’t really need to.
Healthwatch wanted to explore whether people agreed with this approach, and how they would like to access follow-up outpatient appointments. This work has been completed independently by Healthwatch organisations as part of our role in informing the work of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP.
Click here to view the full report: Follow-up appointments engagement report – Final – April 2017