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Think twice before going to A&E: Hillingdon Hospital reports £1.7m wastage

The Hospital Trust says there were 11,200 people last year who could have used another NHS service instead of A&E

Hillingdon Hospital is pleading with patients to think twice before going to A&E this winter, after £1.7m of the trust's budget was wasted last year.

The hospital is preparing in advance for the seasonal spike in hospital admissions by appealing for patients to use alternative sources of treatment before A&E, which is meant for life-threatening emergencies only.

Over the past 12 months, there has seen a steady increase in people attending A&E with traditionally quieter months, July and August, registering increases of 6.4% and 8%.

Hillingdon Hospital's A&E department treated 56,000 patients last year, with each patient visit costing around £150, excluding the considerably more expensive cost of arriving by ambulance.

Jas Johal, Hillingdon A&E consultant, said: “Patients who use A&E when they could get more appropriate care somewhere else are taking staff away from life-threatening cases.

“Please help us to help those that need it most by getting care in the right place.”

Analysis at Hillingdon shows around 20% of those visiting A&E last year could have been treated by their GP or pharmacist for minor ailments.

Overall, the trust’s A&E department saw approximately 11,200 people last year who could have been better dealt with by another NHS service.

This wasted around £1.7m of it's budget and could have paid for an additional 20-30 doctors and nurses.

Patients can get more information about the correct place to go for treatment by clicking here.

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