GP practices should only offer old magazines to read – as up to £12.6m worth of magazines get stolen every year from waiting rooms claims the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
A study by the University of Auckland, placed 87 current magazines in a local surgery and found that within a month half of the magazines had disappeared.
Magazines focusing on light entertainment and gossip were more likely to be stolen. Of the current magazines placed out, 59% were stolen in comparison to 27% of older publications.
At the end of the month. all but one of the 27 gossip and lifestyle magazines had disappeared, while nobody took any of the four copies of Time magazine or the 15 copies of The Economist.
The researchers from the University of Auckland estimate that if the findings were extrapolated to the UK’s 8,000 practices then about £12.6m of magazines go missing every year.
Research team leader Professor Bruce Arroll said: ‘Quantification of this phenomena was urgently needed. Another first was the discovery that gossipy magazines were more likely to disappear than non-gossipy ones. Future research in waiting room science would include identifying who or what is responsible for the removal of magazines.’