Hospitals across the East of England are being urged to do more to stop people missing their appointments.
Last year in the East of England, out of 5,727,989 outpatient appointments, 8.2 per cent of patients did not attend. This compares to 8.9 per cent of patients out of 4,868,859 outpatient appointments not attending in 2009/10.
Nationally during 2011/12 there were still around 5.5 million missed appointments in the NHS- although this figure is down compared to the previous year.
Now the Health Minister Simon Burns is urging hospitals in the East to make more use of innovative solutions to tackle those who don't show.
Some of the ways could include texting patients before an appointment or seeing them via Skype.