LIFESTYLE

Hangovers And Bad Hair Days - NHS Reveals Bizarre Reasons People Go To A&E

07/11/2011 13:41 | Updated 07 January 2012

Toenails in need of a trim, hangover help and bad-hair-day dramas are just three of the bizarre reasons why people attend A&E, a new NHS campaign has revealed.

The Choose Well campaign urges people to go to the right place for NHS treatment after new figures revealed that one in four A&E patients could care for themselves or get treatment elsewhere.

Other weird and wonderful reasons for casualty visits, ranged from constipation and diarrhoea to seeking treatment for a sick dog and even help with removing false nails.

One woman took her child to A&E to ask the staff to clean dog poo off her child's shoe, while another went to complain that her hand had turned blue after the dye on her jeans had rubbed off on her skin.

Across England, the estimated cost to the NHS of unnecessary A&E visits is at least £80 million to £100 million a year.

The Choose Well campaign features short films, such as the one below, depicting "inappropriate" A&E scenarios being played out by actors.

Dr Mike Cheshire, medical director at NHS North West, which is co-ordinating the national campaign, said: "The tales told in the videos are very funny and they are extreme cases, but there are very serious issues behind them."

Dr Cheshire said unnecessary attendances "put an enormous and unnecessary strain on the NHS, and not just in financial terms. 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".

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