PERFORMANCE Patients miss 55,000 GP and nurse appointments a year across north east Essex, NHS Mid Essex has announced.

The primary care trust’s head of primary care Jennifer Speller, said: “This is a shockingly high figure.

“Surgeries receive a lot of stick from patients who can’t get an appointment when they want one, but what these patients may not realise is that it is their fellow patients not cancelling appointments who are causing much of the problem. We need patients to be responsible.”