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News


People Using A&E For Non-Emergencies

Monday October 6 2014


Barnsley Hospital Barnsley Hospital


MANY people are attending Barnsley Hospital's accident and emergency department for non-emergencies, a study has revealed.

The study - commissioned by the Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - took place from April 2012 to March 2013 and evaluated data from almost 80,000 patient visits.

During January 14 to February 14 of this year, a questionnaire was also handed out to people attending the emergency department and 951 were completed by patients.

Of this, only 22 per cent of patients considered their condition to be an emergency.

As expected, high users of the emergency department were children 0-5 years old (11.6 per cent), and people aged 65 and above (20.9 per cent).

An interesting group to emerge from the data were young men aged 19 to 21 years who accounted for 13.3 per cent of patients.

Dr Nick Balac, local GP and chair of Barnsley CCG, said: "This research is very useful in helping us to understand why the emergency department is so busy and we need to find more ways to let people know about the other services available in the borough.

"We have recently introduced Saturday opening in some GP surgeries and are in the process of rolling out a GP telephone appointment service which will make it easier for people to get to see their GP.

"The emergency department should only be used in the case of a serious or life-threatening situation and people should choose to either treat their own minor injuries or use more relevant services available."

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Reply Posted by Tom on Tuesday October 7 2014 at 14:48
Not surprised people are using A&E, getting a doctors appointment can take weeks, at which point you've probably overcome your health problem or died from it, unless it is a long term condition that isn't life threatening and can be controlled with medication.

We used to have the walk in centre which was brilliant, but it was closed due to "high demand". Which is the most baffling reason I have ever heard!

Considering that most GPs prescribe antibiotics, it would appear as a matter of routine, it is probably quicker and easier to book a dentist appointment, stab yourself in the gums with a rusty nail and get a prescription for antibiotics off of the dentist.

Perhaps UK citizens should be prescribed 'psychotics' automatically to make sure they are mental, then they can fit into this mad world that we live in. It would also make people eligible for DLA, reduce poverty and boost the income of the town and improve the economy. With reduced poverty, people might be able to afford to eat properly and the increasing amount of malnutrition could be reversed.

Reply Posted by Gill on Thursday October 9 2014 at 10:04
it didnt need a "study" to tell us that information... just visit a&e on a friday or saturday night... lol

Reply Posted by Donna on Thursday October 9 2014 at 10:24
Bring back the walk in center at Barnsley and see the pressure eased immediately

Why on earth it was closed as a walk in is beyond belief

Reply Posted by bev on Thursday October 9 2014 at 20:21
The Walk-In Centre at Gate way Plaza Barnsley was closed because it did NOT reduce A&E attendances which is partly what is was supposed to do (the other part was to help folk outside the area that could not get to their own GP to save them from going to our A&E department). There was no difference to the numbers visiting Barnsley A&E during the time it was open and the time audited before it opened. It was established the people using it were local patients that would not wait for routine appointments at their own GP surgery. Until the government realise that GP surgeries cannot cope with the changed demand for appointments due to a number of reasons including new foreign patients needing interpreter services that use 3 appointments instead of the usual one, higher numbers of chronic disease patients that genuinely need to be seen for a longer time period than the usual 10min appointment and also due to timewasters that could self treat themselves or go to the chemist for advice, and invest in new GP's in the Barnsley area, then we will still have the same problem.

Reply Posted by Rog on Thursday October 9 2014 at 10:41
I had a bad asthma attack two weeks ago. You should have heard the comments people made, and the looks I got because I was seen straight away. You just know looking at the people in there, that 90% are not emergencies...

Reply Posted by Liz on Thursday October 9 2014 at 12:45
I was in there in February luckily I was seen quickly as my doctor had sent me but people were sitting there as if it was just something to do to pass a bit of time on.they certainly didn't look to have much wrong with them,when will people realise it's for emergency cases only , trivial things can be treated at home !!

Reply Posted by kay on Thursday October 9 2014 at 13:17
Should see looks a got when i took my daughter who was 1 at the time ad a fit n got seen to stright away... Its ridiculas

Reply Posted by jenny on Thursday October 9 2014 at 14:59
i have a disintegrating spine and i periodically get bone slivers that cause a hell of a lot of pain but to get the painkillers im prescribed i have to see the doctor every time and last time i needed to do this i had to phone up EVERY morning for an appointment and i was ringing EVERY morning for a month before i got an appointment so im not surprised that A&E are seeing none emergency cases because patients cant get appointments to see their GPs

Reply Posted by Liz on Thursday October 9 2014 at 17:31
We must be very lucky in Penistone we can register to book appointments on line ,very easy look what appointments are available and click ,they also do a call back with a doctor if it's urgent !

Reply Posted by whoohoo on Thursday October 9 2014 at 20:27
I'm the same Liz at Dodworth Road Surgery. I look online and book when I want. Looks like demand could be high everywhere as everyone is always moaning about appointments - go to the chemist and treat yourself if you're not prepared to wait!

Reply Posted by Susan on Thursday October 9 2014 at 22:39
,wouldn't it be better to have a drop in centre at the hospital (for people who are worried) then any emergency's can get the attention they need and the others can be redirected to a separate department ,as like you said most a&e are not emergency's , i had an infection in my ear and i was worried but didn't want to go to hospital as i didn't think it was an emergency.

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday October 9 2014 at 22:54
That would be good Susan,but parking is a massive problem.

Reply Posted by Clare on Friday October 10 2014 at 10:03
The problem being that everyone now lives in a society that they don't want to wait for anything, hence the fact that when ringing the GP for an appointment that is in a few days or a weeks time, they don't accept this and decide to go to A&E for "now" treatment whether it is and Emergency or not, most people will say that it was an "Emergency to them!" The whole issue surrounding people's attendances to the A&E department is baffling, however on a negative note towards GP's it is common place for the patient to actually have some medical knowledge to lead the GP to actually investigate the problem and provide the right diagnosis, where it is almost certain that an attendance to A&E will leave a patient feeling satisfied, even if they do have to wait for the treatment!

Reply Posted by Nhs worker on Friday October 17 2014 at 16:45
I was sent to a&e because i had hurt my knee, i didnt see it as a emergency but i work at the hospital and got advised to go down by the nurses in my dept to get it x-rayed because they said it might be dislocated n i was at risk of a DVT. Luckily i was ok, but if id not gone for what seemed not to be seriousi it may have caused a dvt which is more life threatening. Sometimes people are in that much pain or panick that it may seem life threatening or more serious!

Reply Posted by Liz on Friday October 17 2014 at 16:46
People just panic about every little thing often if you wait a couple of day's the symptoms will have gone anyway !

Reply Posted by Roz on Friday October 17 2014 at 18:11
I ended up in A & E some three years ago. Thumb badly smashed and practically severed after a car accident. Must have been serious as I was transferred to the Hand Unit (by ambulance) at the Northern General in Sheffield. It wasn't my fault by the way, I don't drive, it was the idiot who hit our car head on.

Reply Posted by Observer on Friday October 17 2014 at 20:39
The national health service was created for people with illness not matter how miniscule or severe, you will not be turned away. And made well again..end of!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by bev on Friday October 17 2014 at 21:05
No 'end of' about it. And its people like you that are sometimes the problem. Yes the NHS service was created for ill people no matter what the scale however, A&E was created for 'Accidents and Emergencies' - hence the A&E in the name!!!! Tell me why a routine ear infection, general pain in foot, general bug bite etc can't be treated in various other ways like your local chemist who perform 'minor ailments' screening and can now prescribe exactly what a GP can? I bet you wouldn't be stating this if a member of your family was in serious need of attention at A&E and had to wait until the drunk was seen?

Reply Posted by Laura on Saturday October 18 2014 at 10:19
It's mad.. people waiting hours to be seen in a&e sometimes yeah its not and accident or emergency like when I was younger I tripped and hurt my leg I didn't know what had happened I was sat in there 6 hours till I got seen turned out I'd broke it in 3 places! My sister was same year before waiting hours and she had to have an op because it was that bad. Yeah people go in for running noses or spots they think is the black plage or something but that's because gp appointments these days are so hard to get because you gotta wait for doc to call you back and they can't make a decision when they can't see you to examine you.. In my opinion public should be free to all because nobody actually knows how serious an injury is until they been seen properly they might look well sat there but really they could be mins away from death.

Reply Posted by m on Sunday October 19 2014 at 18:23
I was taken to A&E last night around 8pm with chest pain, high blood pressure and extremely servere headache after waiting 15 mins put on trolley ecg, blood pressure and bloods taken. Nurse was fantastic all the time couldn't fault her but that's where it ended. The department began to fill up with drunk after drunk coming in on spinal boards usually with police officers escorting them. Elderly people lay on trollies in corridors while drunks were dealt with first. I eventually saw a locum doctor who did a basis exam before leaving and not giving me any information on my condition, there was a definate lack of communication in any care given. After 6hrs which meant I breached the 4hr waiting time someone came in and said come on you going where I said still in pain and on having had my Bp done once she said down corridor to new unit called CDU where you sit and wait for hours again sao it doesn't look as bad on there waiting figures. There is a lot more to this story to do with the symptoms and because of what I had to experience to do also with the last of confidentiality, I shall be making a com plaint.

Reply Posted by m on Sunday October 19 2014 at 18:23
I was taken to A&E last night around 8pm with chest pain, high blood pressure and extremely servere headache after waiting 15 mins put on trolley ecg, blood pressure and bloods taken. Nurse was fantastic all the time couldn't fault her but that's where it ended. The department began to fill up with drunk after drunk coming in on spinal boards usually with police officers escorting them. Elderly people lay on trollies in corridors while drunks were dealt with first. I eventually saw a locum doctor who did a basis exam before leaving and not giving me any information on my condition, there was a definate lack of communication in any care given. After 6hrs which meant I breached the 4hr waiting time someone came in and said come on you going where I said still in pain and on having had my Bp done once she said down corridor to new unit called CDU where you sit and wait for hours again sao it doesn't look as bad on there waiting figures. There is a lot more to this story to do with the symptoms and because of what I had to experience to do also with the last of confidentiality, I shall be making a com plaint.



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