More than 300 patients failed to turn up for booked appointments at Swanscombe Health Centre last month.

The health centre stated the 302 no-shows equated to more than 50 hours of appointments which could have been offered to others awaiting treatment.

The centre has urged anyone who cannot make their allotted time to call ahead and cancel, rather than just not show up.

This comes after figures released last week showed more than 15 million GP appointments across the country are being wasted each year.

Urging patients to let GPs know if they cannot make an appointment, the NHS has said this could save an estimated £216 million a year.

Acting director of primary care for NHS England, Dr Nikki Kanani said: "We know that timely access to general practice appointments are a priority for the public which is why we are growing the workforce and offering evening and weekend appointments.

"The NHS' long-term plan will set out how we will build on this progress but patients can do their part by letting the NHS know if they can’t make their slot – freeing up doctors, nurses and other professionals to see those who do need care and attention.

"This is particularly important as we go in to winter. Our message is clear: if you cannot make it to your appointment or no longer need a consultation, please let your GP practice know in advance so the appointment can be filled by another patient."