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Are missed appointments sinking the NHS?

Imagine the scenario. You’ve arranged a special dinner for a group of friends. You’ve bought the food; picked out your ‘good’ cutlery; dressed in your best clothes. You may have even tidied up the bathroom and hidden last week’s washing under the bed. Then, they simply don’t turn up. No phone call or email, they just decide, for whatever reason, not to show. Quite apart from the wasted food and wine and the fact that you’ve spent the afternoon preparing, there’s the knowledge that if you knew they weren’t coming, you could have invited someone else. Annoying doesn’t quite cover it.