PEOPLE who fail to turn up to their outpatients appointment or forget to cancel or re-arrange are costing Poole Hospital more than £1.5 million a year.

According to the hospital more than 300 of us simply fail to turn up to our outpatients appointments EVERY WEEK. At around £100 per missed appointment – the money is saved if the slot is reallocated – that adds up to £1,560,000 a year.

Poole Hospital medical director, Dr Angus Wood, said: “Missing an appointment without cancelling or rearranging it costs the hospital both time and money, and prevents us from offering the slot to another patient.

“Remembering to cancel an appointment in advance helps us maintain our high standard of service and means we can see as many patients as possible.”

His comments come as the NHS’s Chief Nursing officer, Prof Jane Cummings, said that annually, the NHS lost nearly £1 billion due to wasted appointments – enough money to fund one million more cataract operations or 250,000 hip replacements.

As the NHS celebrates its 70th year, Prof Cummings is urging the public to honour appointments as a “small but effective way” to help the service.

“With the NHS coming under pressure as never before, we are asking patients and the public to use the health service responsibly to help ensure that care is readily available for everyone who needs it,” she said.

Data released by NHS Digital revealed that in 2016/17 almost eight million hospital outpatient appointments were missed, up nearly 500,000 on 2015/16.

According to Dr Angus Wood, cancelling an appointment couldn't be easier. “If you are unsure about how to cancel or rebook an appointment, call 01202 442823 or visit the outpatient section of our website - - or use the details on your appointment letter,” he said.