New NHS Campaign Aims To Reduce A&E Time Wasters
A&E time wasters cost the NHS up to £100 million a year.
A pet owner bitten by a guinea pig and a woman unable to remove her false nails are among the so called patients who have turned up at A&E departments, according to research.
Others include a man with his sick dog; a woman needing her toenails cut because she couldn’t get a chiropodist appointment and a woman asking for help because her hair turned blue, only to discover that it was caused by dye from her jeans.
The NHS have launched a new campaign to ask people to think twice before heading to A&E, after figures have shown that up to a quarter of people who attend A&E could have taken care of the problem themselves or been seen elsewhere.
It has been estimated that people attending A&E for unsuitable reasons cost the NHS at least £80 - £100 million a year, and each individual visit costs a minimum of £59.
The campaign which is called “Choose Well” features film clips played by actors of some of the genuine, but trivial requests for emergency assistance NHS staff have encountered. These films can be found on YouTube.
One woman arrived at A&E because she had paint in her hair; one man turned up suffering from a hangover and even more bizarre was a mother who arrived at A&E because her child had dog poo on their shoes and she asked for staff to clean it off.
The medical director at NHS North West, Dr Mike Cheshire who is co-ordinating the national campaign stated that “The tales told in the videos are very funny and they are extreme cases, but there are very serious issues behind them.
"Every minute that an A&E doctor or nurse spends treating very minor problems reduces the time they can spend attending to those who have suffered heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening injuries."