IT’S always busy with outpatient clinics running throughout the week.

Now Southampton General Hospital’s Eye Unit is the latest department to back The Daily Echo’s “Turn Up or Tell’Em” campaign.

Senior sister Shelley French took some of our posters to put up around the eye unit that every week sees hundreds of patients.

All appointments can run a lot more smoothly and valuable resources can be saved if people phone up when they can’t make their appointments.

If people need to cancel or rearrange an appointment at Southampton General Hospital or The Princess Anne Hospital they should ring the number on their appointment card.

However some readers have contacted The Daily Echo saying that they have experienced difficulties getting through on these telephone lines.

Now hospital bosses are looking at developing an online cancellation form so patients have another way of cancelling their appointments.

Daily Echo: Turn Up or Tell ’Em: It’s good for the NHS’s health

Steve McManus, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust chief operating officer, said: “It is extremely important people inform us if they are unable to make their hospital appointments in order to give us the opportunity of offering cancelled places to others, which speeds up the hospital process and makes good use of NHS resources.

“Because our appointments staff are very busy, we understand it can sometimes be difficult to get through on the telephone to cancel or change an appointment.

“Following patient feedback, we are currently developing an online cancellation form that we hope to have available very soon.

“This form will be more convenient for some patients and help us to give a better service to everybody.”

Our Turn Up or Tell’Em campaign, backed by Southampton General and Princess Anne hospitals, as well as Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital, comes after we revealed that around 5,150 patients are failing to turn up to their hospital appointments across our region every month.

Over a year that number of missed appointments, known as Do Not Attends, costs YOUR local NHS a staggering £6.1m a year.

Health bosses in Winchester say people who cannot attend their appointments should call the number on their appointment card in the first instance. However if they have lost it they should call the main switchboard on 01962 863535.