NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched an animated, musical campaign to help combat inappropriate Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendances in the district.
Styled as a twist on Christmas carol favourite, The Twelve Days of Christmas, the video illustrates surprising reasons why some people choose to go to A&E in Wakefield.
The adapted lyrics include ‘twelve sickness bugs’, ‘ten broken nails’ and ‘five too much to drink’.
The campaign will be promoted widely throughout December as this is usually when seasonal pressures on NHS services are at their most severe. A&E departments typically face a much-increased demand over the Christmas and New Year period.
Evidence suggests that one in four A&E patients could care for themselves, or get treatment from an alternative service such as a pharmacy, out-of-hours GP, walk-in centre or NHS 111.
Dr Adam Sheppard, Urgent Care Lead for Wakefield CCG, said: “Although this is a light-hearted video, we want to emphasise the serious underlying message. Going to A&E when you don’t need to places unnecessary pressure on our already-stretched hospitals.
“We have a wide range of alternatives to A&E in Wakefield that are available for those who need urgent medical treatment but it is not an emergency. These include our newly-introduced weekend and evening GP appointments which can be accessed by calling your usual GP practice number.
“We have invested heavily into developing additional services outside hospital as people still have a perception that it’s hard to get to see a GP.”
Dr Sarah Robertshaw, Lead Emergency Medicine Consultant at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “In Accident and Emergency, minutes mean lives. Every minute we spend treating a patient who could be seen elsewhere adds an increasing amount of pressure on the service at a time when demand is already at its peak.
“A&E is for serious accidents and emergencies only. If you’re unsure about where to go, call 111 and a highly-trained clinical advisor will direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs.”