I know I frequently bang on about how people abuse our wonderful A&E department at the DGH and that if some patrons had to pay for their treatment they wouldn’t be half as willing to sit in the waiting room for treatment to ‘anything and everything’ which I feel is what they think the letters stand for. If I were the hospital boss there would be drunk tanks for the boozed up nuisances to spend the night in rather than clog up the waiting room swaying and hollering and they’d be presented with a bill for services when they’d sobered up. But my latest bugbear is when people fail to turn up to their appointments with a GP. My surgery, albeit not for much longer due to moving to Westham, is the wonderful Grove Road Surgery where 1,433 patients failed to keep appointments without bothering to cancel in the last year. Not good when you think that missed appointments at GP practices cost an average of £30 – wasted if a patient does not attend. Nationally the total comes to more than £216 million each year which is a staggering waste of money. Aside from the cost, it has an impact on other patients who are denied the opportunity of getting an appointment.