THOUSANDS of GP appointments are wasted every year as patients fail to cancel them if they cannot attend.

North East Essex NHS said 55,000 doctor and nurse appointments were not attended last year.

The figure has been described as totally unacceptable by health bosses who are unable to put a cost on the problem but say it means other patients risk missing out while staff have to work longer hours.

  • Read the full story and what surgeries are doing to counter the problem in Monday's Gazette.