One in 10 A&E patients could go elsewhere

NHS Lincolnshire says it could save around £2 million a year if people used a more appropriate service for their symptoms, as one in 10 people inappropriately use A&E.

The figure comes from local research into the 200,000 people who visit A&E in Lincolnshire each year.

NHS Lincolnshire reports the money saved could be used to treat almost 500 heart attack victims, provide care for nearly 500 stroke victims or buy around 250 hip replacements.

Dr Martin McShane, Director of Commissioning Development and QIPP for NHS Lincolnshire said: “Before turning up at A&E think, is it really a life threatening emergency?”

Patients are being asked to consider whether they could be treated at a minor injuries unit or walk-in centre, call their GP or go to the nearest pharmacy for health advice.

The Lincolnshire NHS 111 number is being suggested as an alternative to calling 999, as the telephone service can help assess your symptoms and direct you to the most suitable service.

Dr McShane assures: “Should you need an ambulance one will be sent immediately, just as if you have called 999.”

The 111 number is also free to call from mobiles and landlines.