Close to 20,000 medical appointments in Corby were wasted last year after patients didn’t turn up to them.
Statistics revealed this week show that patients in Corby failed to turn up to 18,487 appointments made with a GP surgery.
The number of missed appointments at Corby practices equates to 184,870 minutes, or 3,081 hours, or 128 solid days – which is more than 18 weeks of lost time.
Now health leaders in Corby are urging the public to value their local NHS services and remember to attend or cancel their booked appointments at their GP practice.
Corby Clinical Commissioning Group clinical chairman Dr Joanne Watt said: “It is understandable that some people cannot make it to their GP appointment for a good reason.
“That reason could be that their condition has worsened and they have gone to hospital or that they have simply treated themselves at home.
“Whatever the reason the GP practice needs to know so that it can pass the appointment to someone else that may have been waiting for some time or may be seriously ill.
“I would like to urge patients to be considerate to others, it could be your mother, brother, daughter or best friend who requires an urgent appointment and you are effectively blocking the slot that they need.”
There are five GP practices in Corby - Great Oakley Medical Centre, Lakeside Surgery, Studfall Partnership, Studfall Medical Centre and Woodsend Medical Centre.
All apart from Studfall Partnership send a reminder text to patients prior to an appointment. However, some patients still do not remember to attend.
Miss Watt added: “The NHS has never been under as much pressure as it is at the moment.
“It is a very, very precious resource that we are lucky to have.
“It offers a very high-quality service for free, but people do need to take some responsibility for it.
“It is easy to cancel an appointment. You can do it by text at some surgeries or just pick up the phone.
“GP practice and hospital appointments are a valuable part of our health service, and we need to make sure that we use them as effectively as possible.
“Don’t forget to cancel your GP or hospital appointment if you cannot attend it.”