In the past year as many of one in four residents in Cambridgeshire visited A&E when they could have used an alternative service or looked after themselves at home.
Each visit to A&E costs the local NHS £87, and that’s before any treatment is given. When you look at the figures, this costs the local NHS over £4million a year. In turn this is the equivalent cost of 677 hip replacements, or 287 liver transplants or 115 more dementia nurses.
Using A&E when you don’t need to can also have a knock-on effect to the rest of the hospital, as busy A&E departments resulted in 500 cancelled operations and procedures because a bed was no longer available, and longer waiting and referral times.
But you can help
· Stay healthy – get a flu vaccination if you are eligible
· Look after others – check on elderly friends, relatives and neighbours especially in spells of cold weather, help them to keep warm and have the medication they might need
· Be prepared – get your prescriptions in early before the holidays and see your pharmacist or GP for any issues you might be putting off
· Choose the right service – your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment.
For help with finding local NHS services visit http://www.cambsandpeterboroughchoosewell.co.uk/