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A&E costs £59 every time - couldn't you just go the chemist's?

The NHS Northwest is campaigning against time-wasting at A&E. They've made some videos showing some of the daft reasons people go hospital emergency departments - sick dog, broken nail, touch of the runs.

One in four A&E visits unnecessaryWe've posted one on the top right (sponsored by a well-known social network by the looks of it). You can see the rest on You Tube.

Dr Mike Cheshire, Medical Director at NHS North West, said: ‘The tales told in the videos are very funny, and they are extreme cases, but there are very serious issues behind them.

In the North West alone, more than 400,000 people who could have been treated and advised by their local pharmacist or GP, or could have looked after themselves at home, went to A&E departments in the last 12 months. Replicated across England, NHS North West economists say this equates to a cost of between £80 million and £100 million a year. The NHS can't afford it.

One in four visits unnecessary

‘Every single attendance at A&E costs a minimum of £59,' says Dr Cheshire, 'and as many as one in four people who attend A&E could have been treated by their pharmacist or GP, or did not need any form of medical intervention.

‘That puts an enormous and unnecessary strain on the NHS, and not just in financial terms. Every minute than 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.’

Actors from the north west who gave their time free to appear in the videos include Phil Broadbent, who has appeared in Shameless along with Salford GP and actor Dr Jenny Hayes. They were filmed on location at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Page created on November 8th, 2011

Page updated on November 8th, 2011