Mental health patients who miss two or more family doctor appointments within one year die eight times more often in the following 1
The University of Glasgow study examined 274,547 long-term mental illness patients between 2013 and 2016 in operations across Scotland.
Of those who missed appointments, 32.1% were alcohol and drug addicts.
And among those who subsequently died, the average age of death was 49.
Lead author Ross McQueenie said, "Many patients regard patients as lazy or lethargic when they miss appointments. We generally think that this is not the case is."
"People do not make health appointments fun, and if they miss an appointment, their health needs are not met."
- Missed GP appointments cost £ 216 million.
- Were waiting times on GP appointments longer?
A previous study by Glasgow University, published in the Lancet, suggested GP practices in deprived areas that worked better with missed appointments, such as daily appointments.
But disadvantaged patients in affluent areas were often excluded.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "People miss appointments for a variety of reasons – but this study shows why it is more important to show compassion to people who are not present, rather than them
"For some, life gets in the way and they forget, but others may not show up exactly because of their health problem.
"We need systems that better adapt to these situations, and the starting point is to have more mental health therapists in basic care, where most of the mental health problems are identified and treated.
" This week The NHS 'announced long-term plan guarantees that our profession receives a significant share of the funding.
"We need these pledges to become a reality."