SHOCKING new statistics revealed by Barnsley Hospital show that visits to the Accident and Emergency Department have increased by 200 per cent in the last month, We Are Barnsley can reveal.

The Accident and Emergency department had a record number of patients last month - with over 300 patients being seen in one day on October 12, a 200 per cent increase compared to a normal day.

A survey done by the A&E staff show that one in three patients do not need emergency care - and nearly 60 per cent had gone for treatment for an illness they had known about for more than three days - like a niggling cough or back ache. And, the hospital says, this is jeapordising the care of people who genuinely do need emergency treatment.

This week, on www.wearebarnsley.com/radio we will be inviting Dr Pete Lane, Barnsley GP and Dr Julian Humphrey, consultant in emergency medicine at Barnsley into the studio to take your questions for one hour from 6.30pm on November 3 (Thursday.)

Dr Julian Humphrey, consultant in emergency medicine at Barnsley Hospital said: “In the past month we have seen many patients with minor illnesses, which could have been more appropriately treated by their GP.

“As the cold weather sets in we would urge people not to attend the emergency department with minor ailments to allow our staff to focus on patients requiring more urgent attention and treatment.

“If people continue to turn up at A&E when they don’t really need to, it inevitably means delays for people who suffer serious illness or injury in the icy winter weather.”

NHS Barnsley estimates that 1 in 3 patients who attend A&E at Barnsley Hospital don’t actually need emergency care.