Hospital Resources Wasted by Patients

25 thousand appointments are being missed at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital every year.

In the year 2009/10 alone one in twenty people didn't show up with 9,578 first appointments and 23,031 follow up appointments missed.

Spokesperson Wendy Shaw says it wastes time and equipment: "this whole chain reaction of staffing and activity kicks into place and if patients don't come in and don't tell us they can't make it those resources have been set up and aren't being used."

She says that she does not think people do it deliberately though: "generally speaking there's no sort of ill will. I think a lot of patients genuinely forget so they need to think of a mechanism - something on the fridge, some sort of way to remind themselves - and if they can't make it and we've all got very busy lives and things change then just making a phone call and changing the appointment can make all the difference."