'Excuse me doctor, I've broken my nail' - surprising reasons patients attend A&E in Wakefield

Nettle stings, paper cuts and broken nails - just three of the reasons patients have turned up to Wakefield's Accident and Emergency department.

The district's health bodies are highlighting the surprising ailments for which patients request emergency care, to raise awareness of inappropriate A&E attendances.

The Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said other common complaints that see people unnecessarily attending the emergency room include long-standing aches and pains, conjunctivitis and running out of medication.

The cases were revealed during interviews with consultants for a short film entitled 'is A&E for me?'.

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 Wakefield CCG, added: “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.”