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Vulnerable patients most likely to fail to keep GP appointments

Socio-economic factors are a key indicator of why patients miss multiple GP appointments, researchers say

Socio-economic factors are a key indicator of why patients miss multiple GP appointments, researchers say.

Researchers from Glasgow, Lancaster and Aberdeen universities conducted the largest ever analysis of characteristics of patients who failed to keep appointments.

Data was gathered from 550,000 patients from across Scotland between 2013 and 2016. The risk of missing appointments was calculated using patient factors of age, gender and socio-economic status, and practice factors such as availability and geographic location.

The researchers found that 104,461 patients or 19% missed more than two appointments in the three years of the study.

Patients who missed multiple appointments were found to be more likely to be aged over 90, female, and have low socio-economic status.

Health harming behaviours

Patients were also more likely to miss multiple appointments if they were registered in GP practices which offered appointments

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