TIME wasting patients have been urged by doctors to stop missing appointments.

It comes after an audit in eight GP practices in Pendle found that over the last week, 137 GP and 113 practice nurse appointments were not attended by patients.

While in Blackburn GP Paul Fourie said that dozens of patients were failing to turn up each week at Witton Medical Centre.

Dr Fourie warned the problem was wasting time for staff and unfair on patients who are unable to get an appointment.

He said: "It's definitely a problem throughout the NHS.

"This morning (Wednesday), we've had five patients who've not attended their appointments and failed to cancel them.

"We'll get a few dozen in a week.

"Some nurse appointments can be 45 minutes so their time is being wasted and it's costing money.

"Patients need to stop missing appointments and cancel them if they can't make it."

Dr Mark Dziobon, Burnley GP and medical director for East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said the missed appointments were a tragic waste of GP time.

He said: "When patients make an appointment and don’t turn up for their appointment it means other patients cannot use that appointment, and the GPs are not seeing patients. This is a tragic waste of GP time, NHS funding, and means no care or treatment for those who could have used that appointment slot."