A survey of health professionals attending an NHS Alliance event found that three out of ten have missed a medical appointment.
The survey of 100 people by In4Health, which delivers news and information services to screens in NHS waiting rooms, found that five admitted missing "a shocking" five appointments.
The NHS Information Centre estimates that did not attends cost the NHS £600m a year.
The spot survey of people attending the NHS Alliance conference in Manchester last week also found that 60% rated ‘expert diagnosis and advice’ as the most important things for them as patients, although 20% picked ‘kindness, concern and emotional support’.
Just 13% and 3% picked the political priorities of ‘cleanliness and hygiene’ and ‘choice’. The surveyors, who used handheld devices to collect views, found there was general scepticism about politicians and their views on the future of the NHS.
Although 13% said health secretary Andy Burnham’s promise to "protect primary care budgets" was ‘wonderful’, 41% said they were ‘cautious’ because savings would have to be found elsewhere, and 43% were ‘suspicious’ or ‘concerned’.
Yet only 26% thought the Tories would improve patient care. Delegates were also unimpressed with the government’s iniative to let patients leave feedback about GPs on the NHS Choices website, with 48% saying this would not give an accurate picture of GP care.