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Review: Children and young people's missed health care appointments: reconceptualising 'Did Not Attend' to 'Was Not Brought' - a review of the evidence for practice

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image for OpenScout resource :: Review: Children and young people's missed health care appointments: reconceptualising 'Did Not Attend' to 'Was Not Brought' - a review of the evidence for practice

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The issue of wastage caused by missed appointments features prominently at a time when cost-saving measures become ever more important in the health care economy. Missed appointments are said to cost the NHS in the region of £600 million per annum. Various strategies are being tried and tested to ensure that people attend their appointments (or are in for domiciliary visits) including texting and phoning reminders. Clearly, attending for health care is generally in a person’s best interests. However, in the UK, if appointments are missed, then the usual outcome is a ‘three (or even two) strikes and you are out’ approach with a notification to the General Practitioner. In this paper we will argue that the seemingly widespread ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) routine described above is not appropriate where children and young people are concerned. The issue here is that the child or young person ‘Was Not Brought’ (WNB) to their appointment, rather than the fact that they DNA. This is important, because not only is access to health care their fundamental right (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989: Article 24), but failure to attend for health care is recognised as a child protection issue within statutory definitions of neglect. Failings in presenting children for health care is also known to feature prominently in cases that have reached the threshold for Serious Case Reviews, and this paper summarises the evidence in this respect. We conclude the paper by suggesting that reconceptualising child and young person DNA as WNB will lead to positive interventions to safeguard and promote the welfare of children that go beyond the missed appointment to a move towards the child-centric practice described in recent key reviews.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43055/

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