64% of Londoners use holiday for health appointments

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Almost two-thirds (64%) of London-based respondents take a day of annual leave in order to attend health appointments, according to research by healthcare provider Bupa.

Its survey of 1,000 workers in London also found that 59% say they are too busy during the working day to make time for health appointments such as the dentist, GP and physiotherapist.

The research also found that:

  • 57% regularly cancel or reschedule appointments because of work commitments.
  • Almost half (47%) of respondents cite last-minute work deadlines as the key reason for not attending appointments with health practitioners. Over a third (37%) name covering for other colleagues as a key factor, while 24% worry spending time out of the office will reflect badly with their colleagues or superiors.
  • More than half (54%) avoid booking an appointment when they have a health issue because they struggle to get time out of the office.
  • More than a third (34%) of respondents say that clinics with longer than normal opening hours are the biggest help to booking health appointments.
  • For 44% of respondents, the inability to attend an appointment has caused a health complaint to worsen, resulting in sickness absence.
  • 39% say that being able to attend health appointments would have a positive impact on their job satisfaction, while 38% believe it will increase their productivity.
  • 28% of respondents wait a month before having time to book a health appointment.

Lee Martin, manager at Bupa’s flagship clinic in Canary Wharf, said: “We know that people struggle to fit their health and wellbeing needs into their busy working lives. This means some aren’t addressing health issues promptly and others are having to use precious holiday time just to get a routine appointment.

“Alongside our jobs, it is crucial people don’t neglect their health because this may lead to time out of the office in the long run.”