Almost 100 patients a day are not turning up to hospital appointments in the region – at a cost of tens of millions of pounds.
Tens of thousands of patients have failed to turn up to appointments at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan in the last four years, official figures have revealed.
And since 2013, a massive £24.7million has been lost due to people failing to turn up for their appointments.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which runs the two hospital sites, described it as a “significant issue”.
A spokesman said: “There are circumstances where it is unavoidable for patients to miss appointments.
“However, missed appointments are a significant issue for the health board, wasting staff time and resources and preventing other patients from having appointments at an earlier date.
“That is why we urge all patients to let us know as soon as possible if they are unable to attend an appointment – we can then offer that patient an alternative date, and offer the original appointment to another patient.
“Our text reminder service has reduced the number of missed appointments, but we continue to ask the public to notify us if they are unable to attend an appointment.”
According to the figures, uncovered following a Freedom of Information request by the Leader, just under 95 appointments a day were being missed at the two sites.
A total of 138,270 appointments were missed between 2013 and 2016.
The figures appear to show more than double the amount of appointments being missed at Wrexham Maelor compared with Glan Clwyd, but the health board said that due to differences in the way data was collected, it was difficult to compare the two sites.
The amount of missed appointments recorded also appears static across the four year period.
At Wrexham Maelor there were 24,402 missed appointments in 2013, 23,965 in 2014, 22,316 in 2015 and 24,225 in 2016.
At Glan Clwyd Hospital there were 10,829 missed appointments in 2013, 11,766 in 2014, 10,130 in 2015 and 10,637 in 2016.
In terms of the cost, across the two sites the missed appointments cost £6.3 million in 2013, £6.4million in 2014, £5.8m in 2015 and £6.2m in 2016.