This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Are we selling ourselves short?


NABI


What gets Dr Shaba Nabi out of bed at dawn for a yoga class, and could the same principle work for GP appointments?


Dr Shaba Nabi is a GP trainer in Bristol


A


Reference 1 BBC News, 2007. The value of free. tinyurl.com/ value-of-free


Read Dr Nabi’s blog at pulsetoday.co.uk/ nabi


s I write, the streets are still awash with joggers and it’s a fight to find a parking spot at the gym.


I also decided to join the January good intentions


club, and perhaps gain some much needed spirituality, by signing up for a yoga class on the first Sunday of the New Year. Now I haul myself up at 7am every Sunday


even though every bone in my body is telling me to stay in bed. You may ask what could possibly beat the urge to lie in, read the papers and enjoy a massive fry-up with my family. Simple: the £1 penalty for non-attendance. As I’m a gym member, the classes are free, but if I fail to show up to a booked class, I pay the fine. Rationally, I know I wouldn’t even notice the loss of £1, yet I’ve not missed a class. If you think £1 is not a big enough deterrent,


just look at the new policy to charge for plastic bags, which tells us people will change their behaviour for as little as 5p. Since the introduction of this meagre levy, the use of plastic bags has gone down by nearly 80%. It is clear from this that it’s not where you set the bar that matters – it’s the mere presence of a bar that causes such profound behaviour change. My enthusiasm for a yoga class made me reflect on the extended hours surgery we offered after New Year’s Day to relieve the access pressures from the holiday week. Of a total of 13 booked appointments, eight patients failed to show up – a DNA rate of more than 60%. This is how little the public values extended access to their GP practice on a bank holiday weekend.


50 February 2016 Pulse It comes down to the question, do we value


anything that is free? Event organisers will tell you they can almost double attendance if they charge a small fee, rather than offering free entry. A free event will certainly have more people signing up for it, but a paid event will secure the greater turnout. We also place greater value on that which is scarce. EasyJet and Booking.com use this to incite us to buy flights or book hotels – by flagging up how few places are left. This marketing


Our bank holiday surgery after New Year had a DNA rate of more than 60%


psychology can help us understand demand in general practice. Despite being a scarce resource, access to GPs has never been greater. What’s more, we’re also completely


free with no penalty for non-attendance. By introducing a penalty amounting to the price of a skinny latte, I predict we could make a big reduction in DNAs and save some cash in the process. Data from medium-sized practices that have cut DNA rates from 20% to less than 5% through telephone triage show they save around £100k a year by employing fewer clinicians. And knowing I’d be seeing patients who’d committed to being there would help me drag myself out of bed each morning. In the words of philosopher Julian Baggini, it all comes down to one thing – commitment: ‘When we pay for something we are showing commitment in a very practical way. We put something of ourselves – in this case money – into whatever it is we want. And by paying for it, we are proving to ourselves that we value it.’ 1


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108