EARLIER this year I was at Southampton General Hospital and underwent an operation for cancer.

Everyone I came into contact with were fantastic.

I now have ultra sound check ups after my treatment and I was attending one such check up this week.

My appointment was for 10.30am and I got there at about 10.15am.

I had hardly sat down when I was called through. The doctor explained that I was called through early because three people with appointments before me had failed to turn up with no notification or cancellation.

This was at 10.30am. How many more before the end of the day?

I cannot imagine how many appointments are lost in the hospital as a whole, in a day or in a year.

These "no shows" should be fined or made to attend some sort of awareness course. The police operate such schemes with motorists.

All the politicians were throwing money at the National Health Service during the General Election campaign, all of which is a good thing, but not the only answer.

Okay, so we build 10 new hospitals and employ hundreds of new doctors. Just think that this will create at least ten times the "no shows".

We all have a duty to care and respect the National Health Service and those who do not run up for appointments should just think - someone on a waiting list could have your slot.

B Hedgecott