One in four visited A&E departments in Cambs but could have been treated elsewhere – costing NHS £4m

Addenbrooke's Hospital

Addenbrooke's Hospital - Credit: Archant

One in four people who attended A&E departments in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough could have been treated elsewhere, according to figures.

Of the 238,313 patients who attended A&E departments, between April 2014 and March 2015, 59,578 could have self-cured or used alternative services.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group says the cost of patients wrong visiting A&E was more than £4million – the equivalent cost of 677 hip replacements, or 287 liver transplants or 115 more dementia nurses.

The increased demand also resulted in more than 500 people having their planned operations postponed because their hospital bed was no longer available.

Today, health chiefs and GPs have urged the public to ensure they only use A&E for emergencies.

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Dr Neil Modha, a GP and chief clinical officer, said: “A&E departments are often seen as the first place to go, when in fact there are other NHS services that may be more suitable, such as your local pharmacy, walk in centre or GP.

“With each visit to A&E costing the NHS a minimum of £87, it’s crucial that people choose the right health service for their illness or injury.

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“If you need medical help fast, but are unsure where to go, then call NHS 111. Available 24-7, 365 days a year, NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to direct you to the right service.”

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