An animated festive video is highlighting the surprising reasons people choose to visit A&E in Wakefield.
The spin-off of classic Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas has been created by the NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help combat inappropriate Accident and Emergency attendances.
It includes lyrics such as 'twelve sickness bugs' and 'ten broken nails'.
Dr Adam Sheppard, Urgent Care Lead for Wakefield CCG, said: “Although this is a light-hearted video, we want to emphasise the serious underlying message. Going to A&E when you don’t need to places unnecessary pressure on our already-stretched hospitals.
“We have a wide range of alternatives to A&E in Wakefield that are available for those who need urgent medical treatment but it is not an emergency. These include our newly-introduced weekend and evening GP appointments which can be accessed by calling your usual GP practice number.
“We have invested heavily into developing additional services outside hospital as people still have a perception that it’s hard to get to see a GP.”
The CCG plans to promote the video campaign throughout December, when it says seasonal pressures on the service are at the most severe.
The health organisation said A&E departments typically face increased demand over Christmas and New Year, but evidence suggests one in four patients could care for themselves or use an alternative service including a pharmacy, out-of-hours GP or the walk-in centre.
Dr Sarah Robertshaw, lead emergency medicine consultant at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “In Accident and Emergency, minutes mean lives. Every minute we spend treating a patient who could be seen elsewhere adds an increasing amount of pressure on the service at a time when demand is already at its peak.
“A&E is for serious accidents and emergencies only. If you’re unsure about where to go, call 111 and a highly-trained clinical adviser will direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs.”