MORE than three quarters of people who visited A&E in Worcestershire over the weekend did not need to be admitted to hospital.
Out of the 775 people who went to Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, only 179 – or 23 per cent – were admitted for treatment.
The high demand comes as health organisations in the county have urged people only to visit A&E in an emergency.
Worcestershire Royal Hospital has been particularly busy, with higher demand than normal for this time of year.
Urgent care lead for the three Worcestershire CCGs – South Worcestershire, Wyre Forest and Redditch and Bromsgrove – Ruth Davoll said high demand for emergency services was outing great strain on the whole healthcare system.
“It’s important for people to know which is the most appropriate treatment for their illness so that emergency healthcare is only used by those people who need it,” she said.
“Patients with a wide range of minor injuries which do not require a visit to A&E – such as cuts, wounds, sprains, strains and minor burns – can be treated at Minor Injury Units at Bromsgrove, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern and Tenbury, where waiting times are often low.
“Many health problems and minor complaints can be solved with self-care and by talking to your local pharmacy.
“Unnecessary trips to A&E not only put a strain on NHS resources but also put lives at risk.”
A free mobile application was launched late last year to help people make the right choice when considering going to hospital and cut A&E attendances.
The Is A&E for me? app - the first of its kind in the county - is available on iPhones and Android devices and provides instant information on services available for injured or unwell people, including a GPS feature showing the closest NHS service.
The app has been downloaded more than 800 times since its launch in November and anyone who has used it is being asked to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter via @IsAEforme.
The best feedback will win a prize.
Patients unsure of should speak to their GP, a pharmacy or call NHS 111 free of charge for advice before going to A&E.
For more information on choosing the most appropriate health service visit www.isaandeforme.com.