Most A&E patients not really emergencies

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A high number of people are visiting Barnsley Hospital’s emergency department for non-emergencies, a new study has found.

Research commissioned by Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group shows only 22 per cent of people who attended the hospital’s accident and emergency department actually thought their condition was an emergency.

The study took place from April 2012 to March 2013 and evaluated data from almost 80,000 patients.

The highest users of the emergency department were children aged up to five years old and people aged 65 or over.

In adults minor injuries such as back pain, sprains and strains were the main reason people attended the emergency department.

Dr Nick Balac, chairman of NHS 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 rolling out a GP telephone appointment service.”