A campaign encouraging parents to cancel hospital appointments in good time if their children cannot attend has sparked debate among Star readers.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital has launched an appeal called Take My Place, which urges people to phone and cancel at least four days in advance if they cannot see a doctor or nurse.
This is to reduce the number of last-minute no-shows after figures revealed that 12 per cent of appointments were missed last year – 21, 140 out of 158, 786.
Dozens of Star readers have taken to Facebook to have their say with some claiming it is not always parents' fault.
Alison James posted: “I can’t imagine any parent would intentionally miss a hospital appointment.
“There is a reason their child has been referred to one of the best children’s hospitals in the country so why would they?
“Speaking from experience I received a letter that was for an appointment the previous week. Let’s not jump on the parent shaming wagon.”
Lucie Bolsover added: “Two of our appointment letters never arrived. Fortunately the ward phoned to remind us.”
But others called for punishments for those who miss appointments.
Jake Walker suggested: “Start giving fines to people who can’t give good evidence to why they missed it?”
Lesley Dalby added there is “no excuse when they send you a text reminder as well as ringing your landline.”
Joanne Davies added that she “can’t believe” so many appointments are missed and added it is “unfair to such a fantastic hospital.”
Sally Shearer, director of nursing and quality at the hospital trust, said: “We understand that sometimes it may not be possible to attend an appointment and in those circumstances we want to encourage parents to let us know, so another child can take their place.”