Research has found that 31 per cent said that they felt confused after visiting their doctor as they did not understand what had been said during the appointment. Patients said that they did not understand complicated medical terms used by their doctor, and sometimes they misinterpreted their diagnosis.
The study carried out by AXA PPP healthcare found that 10 percent of 18-24 year olds thought that ‘benign’ conditions were terminal and three percent had to visit another doctor after not understanding the diagnosis from their original GP.
With increasing pressures on NHS staff as a result of rising demands, funding issues and an ageing population, the appointments currently available to patients do not stretch far enough to deal with the needs of the public. As a result, GP appointments can feel rushed and doctors may not have enough time to explain the diagnosis in depth, which could lead to further issues.
It is vital that patients fully understand their diagnosis, the treatments available to them and the next steps needed, such as how to take their medication, and that is why good communication between patient and doctor is key. Patients should feel comfortable asking their doctors for more information if they don’t understand what they are being told.
If patients do not understand their illness or the treatment they will be receiving then if something goes wrong, or if they haven’t received the best care, they may not be aware of it.
At Fletchers we understand the level of trust that patients place with their doctors and it can be upsetting when the best level of care isn’t delivered. We are experts in dealing with cases of medical negligence and our experienced team can help you if you feel like you have received poor care.