PATIENTS failed to attend more than 30,000 appointments at Barnsley Hospital last year - the equivalent of almost 100 a day - all while the number of people on NHS waiting lists continues to surge.

Statistics from NHS England show patients did not attend a total of 30,675 outpatient appointments at the Gawber Road site in 2022/23 - up from 29,995 the year before.

This accounted for six per cent of the 496,485 appointments that were scheduled at the hospital.

The figures are revealed despite the latest statistics showing that more than 20,000 people were waiting for routine treatment at the hospital in July.

Of those 181 had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral to treatment at Barnsley Hospital was ten weeks at the end of July - the same as in June.

Nationally, a record eight million of 124.5 million appointments - the equivalent of 6.4 per cent - were missed.

It is the highest proportion of missed appointments since 2017/18, when 6.7 per cent went unattended.

The Patients Association said there are eight million different stories behind the missed appointments, and called on healthcare professionals to be ‘curious’ about why patients are absent.

The figure also showed hospitals cancelled 12.1 million outpatient appointments across the country - a rise of four per cent on the year before, and the highest figure since records began, excluding 2020/21, which was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of these, 65,565 were cancelled by Barnsley Hospital.

There were 95.9 million attendances nationally, up on the last two years but slightly below pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, patients contacted hospitals and cancelled 7.9 million appointments, also down on before Covid-19.

At Barnsley Hospital, 53,635 appointments were cancelled by patients, while there was a total of 346,060 attendances.

A Barnsley Hospital spokesperson told the Chronicle: “We have taken significant steps to tackle missed appointments, and progress continues.

“Working with patients we have improved communications to be more helpful and easier to understand, using a wider range of methods to reach people with information about where they need to be and when.

“Our community diagnostic centre brings healthcare to the high street in a more convenient location, and we are seeing improvements in attendance for the services we provide there, with more diagnostic service coming online this year and next.

“We have seen our missed appointment rate reduce from a recent high of 9.2 per cent to 6.9 per cent currently.

“We urge anyone who cannot attend their appointment as planned to let us know as soon as they can so we can give that slot to another patient.”