Nettle stings, paper cuts and broken nails are just three of the surprising reasons some people turn up to Accident and Emergency, according to joint local research from NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Other common complaints that see patients go to A&E unnecessarily include long-standing aches and pains, conjunctivitis, and running out of medication.
These cases were revealed during interviews conducted with A&E consultants for a short film produced to raise awareness of inappropriate attendances.
Evidence suggests that one in four A&E patients could care for themselves, or get treatment from an alternative service such as a pharmacy, out-of-hours GP or NHS 111.
Dr Sarah Robertshaw, Head of Clinical Service for Emergency Medicine at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Winter is a time when we see more and more people in our A&E departments, whether it’s with broken bones from falling on the ice, or as a result of flu.
“It’s important to remember there are other alternatives to A&E. If you need urgent medical advice but it is not a genuine emergency, call NHS 111 where a highly trained clinical advisor will direct you to the most appropriate service.”
Adam Sheppard, Urgent Care Lead for NHS Wakefield CCG and Chair of the West Yorkshire Urgent and Emergency Care Network, said: “Whether it’s calling NHS 111 or visiting your GP practice or pharmacy, there are plenty of options to choose from if you require medical attention. Choosing the correct service means that you and your family will get the best treatment, allowing busy NHS services to help the people who need them most.
“People need to remember that A&E is not for minor complaints which a pharmacist or GP can help with – it is for genuine medical emergencies and life-threatening conditions.”