Research: Netherlands

Following the success of 'What should I do?' in the Netherlands, we were confident that the 'What should I do?' goods could and would be of benefit to the UK patients and carers. Here are some examples of research findings

The 'Wat doe ik?' programme in Rotterdam

  • 90% of GPs in favour of initiative

Of those who requested the booklet:

  • 95 percent had kept booklet
  • 93 percent read part of all of booklet
  • 51 percent of respondents followed advice in the booklet
  • 21 percent of survey sample stated they had used self help advice than visit their GPs
  • 1 percent of respondents saw a doctor because of the advice in the booklet

Proven track record

The What should I do? programme has demonstrated that it works:

  • In the Netherlands the programme cut the number of unnecessary patient visits to GPs by 21 percent (1993-94).
  • A similar programme in Denmark in 1990 cut the nation's total health costs by 3 percent.
  • A Dutch survey of 400 GPs in 1994 found that 90 percent were in favour of the programme, and that almost 40 percent of their patients were using the 'Wat doe ik?' booklet.

The Practical Savings

The Dutch survey indicated what reducing patient consultations by 21 percent through the use of the booklet translates into in practical terms.

The Audit Commission cites that the average GP consults with 140 patients a week during surgery hours. The Commission's research also indicated that the average consultation takes five minutes.

Introducing the booklet paves the way for potential savings of 30 patient consultations per GP per week. This equates to 2.5 hours a week being saved by each GP.

These savings give GPs extra flexibility. Each patient consultation can be increased by almost a third. Or if the consultation period is maintained, it would be possible for a GP to see:

  • An extra 6 patients per day
  • An extra 30 patients per week
  • An extra 120 patients per month

90% of GPs in favour of initiative

51% of repsondents followed advice in the booklet

... the programme cut the number of unnecessary patient visits to GPs by 21%

...savings of 30 patient consultations per GP per week