Every week more than 1,200 outpatient appointments are wasted at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust because patients fail to turn up.
Last year 65,786 appointments were missed that could have been offered to other patients – each one costing the trust an average of £150.
The trust is reviewing its processes to improve patient letters and appointment reminder services to try and reduce its Did Not Attend (DNA) rate.
But it is also urging everyone across Teesside and North Yorkshire to do their bit by letting departments know if they cannot attend an appointment – whatever the reason.
Head of Outpatients, Ian Rooney, said: “There are a number of reasons why people “DNA”. Some genuinely forget, but others don’t attend because they struggle to get the time off work or are feeling better.
“We are urging everyone to let us know if they cannot make it as someone else might really need that appointment.
“Plus every missed appointment costs us an average of £150.
“We know we can reduce this, that’s why we are reviewing our patient letters and reminder services, but we need patients to let us know if they will not be attending by calling the number on their appointment letter or using our online cancellation form.
“We are also urging patients to make sure their GP has their up to date contact details including emails and mobile numbers if they are happy to be contacted in this way.”
Patients can cancel or rearrange appointments 24/7 by visiting southtees.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/change-appointment.