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in thinking that some/alot of people go to A and E without a good reason

(267 Posts)
ghostspirit Thu 11-Dec-14 21:43:36

im just wathing 24 hours in a&e and a mum took her child to hospital because he has hayfever. also i see loads of posters at bus stops it says things like have a back ache, see your GP do not do to a&e. seen a few other similar things. is this because there are a lot of people going to hospital when they don't need to or is it just a general thing to make people more aware.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 11-Dec-14 21:46:21

People end up going to A&E because it's almost impossible to get GP appointments these days.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Dec-14 21:46:44

I think it's a bit of a catch 22 for some people

They can't get a Drs appointment for over a week, so they end up in A&E because there are no walk-in clinics in their area.

Doesn't make it right though if it's not an emergency.

Goldenlab Thu 11-Dec-14 21:47:35

Yes, just shouting at the tv myself - give him some piriton and an eye bath. Massive long wait and a pharmacist could have sorted this.

NoelleHawthorne Thu 11-Dec-14 21:48:15

they take the whole family
NO DAD - you stay at home with teh siblings

CheeseBuster Thu 11-Dec-14 21:49:12

A lot of people seem to think a&e is an instant GP appointment. They complain as well when serious cases get seen first.

It's like when someone calls an ambulance for a sprained ankle and think they'll get seen first because they came in an ambulance.

GaryShitpeas Thu 11-Dec-14 21:52:10


a couple of years ago dd1 (she was 3 at the time) had some sort of severe allergic reaction. she had come out in a rash, was floppy and was struggling to breathe

i was holding her up, scared to death she had something awful wrong with her while some stupid fucking idiot was holding the queue up with a sprained ankle or something

i swear i was this close to giving her something real to go to fucking a and e about

dd was fine in the end but she might not have been, un necessary a&e hoggers piss me right off

WiIdfire Thu 11-Dec-14 21:52:17

I've worked in A&E and people most definitely use it inappropriately. My favourite was a chap I saw at 3 am on a Sunday morning, who wanted something for his itching. I asked how long he had been itching for, and he said 13 years.

So, definitely an emergency then?

raltheraffe Thu 11-Dec-14 21:52:43

I worked as an A&E doctor for 2 years.

My favourite case was a woman who looked like Tanya Turner from Footballers' Wives.

I was on triage that day. She came in and said she had broken a nail. She had long false nails and the tip of one was broken.

I was only a junior doc and had done all this training in the "legitimate complaint". It is when a patient comes to see the doctor with a serious or embarrassing problem, but when they face the doctor they are too embarrassed or afraid to discuss it so suddenly start discussing a different issue.

I figured this was her legitimate complaint and the real reason she had come in was far more serious, so I got my senior.

Senior doc asked her what the problem was and when she showed the senior doc her nail, senior doc said she needed to cut it off.

Patient asked "with scissors or a nail clipper"?

Senior doctor then exploded and gave her a bollocking.

joanne1947 Thu 11-Dec-14 21:53:59

I know many will disagree but I think that A&E departments should start saying "No". There should be a set up so if you go to A&E they will book you in for an appointment with your GP 2 or 3 days after you would get it if you had contacted your GP directly.
A&E is Accident and Emergency not IATFLTBMAA (I am too fucking lazy to bother making an appointment with- --my GP)
Lets keep A&E for real emergencies.

raltheraffe Thu 11-Dec-14 21:55:26

They do say no.

We had this staff grade doctor who we nicknamed House as he had such a grumpy and rude manner.

He once rugby tackled a frequent flyer to the ground.

fairgame Thu 11-Dec-14 21:55:28

YANBU I used to work in a&e and we got some ridiculous attendances. One that sticks in my mind is the lady who phoned an ambulance and demanded to be taken in because she didn't have a plaster to put on her toddlers knee. Apparently the ambulance didn't have a plaster either hmm. And the woman who brought her granddaughter in by ambulance because she got shampoo in her eyes when she was washing her hair. The best one was the bloke who was livid because I confirmed that 'his' ambulance wouldn't in fact wait until he had been seen for his minor cough and take him home again.

GaryShitpeas Thu 11-Dec-14 21:56:32

i agree joanne

and OMG at raltherafee

raltheraffe Thu 11-Dec-14 21:57:53

I had a woman who just looked like a sprained ankle, but the way she was limping and crying in agony I thought I better get an x ray to be sure.

She had tripped on a pavement.

I put the x ray on the board and said "good news there is no fractured bones".

She stood up, and shouted "good news? GOOD NEWS? Thats my fucking compo gone"

She then flounced off out of the cubicle and the limp vanished!

Enjoyingmycoffee1981 Thu 11-Dec-14 21:58:24

*People end up going to A&E because it's almost impossible to get GP appointments these days*

Speak for yourself. In my area, kent, you get an appointment within 48 hours.

Sooner if the doc speaks to you and determines you need to be seen sooner.

kateecass Thu 11-Dec-14 21:58:24

Yes, far too many people go to A&E who shouldn't. A&E depts are under major, major strain.

Do you know the 2 busiest times in A&E are Sunday afternoons and Mondays. It's when people suddenly find the time to go and sort out whatever complaint that's been troubling them.

Sidge Thu 11-Dec-14 21:58:31

They can't get an appointment with their GP so they go to A&E.

And part of the reason they can't get a GP appointment is because no one has any common sense and goes to the GP because they've had a sore throat for 37 minutes or because they threw up once.

MrSheen Thu 11-Dec-14 22:00:21

I can see why people do it. Last time I tried to make a non emergency GP appointment it was a 5 week wait. It was a medication review for asthma as ds needed a new inhaler. Had he had an asthma attack in those 5 weeks the he would probably have ended up in A&E.

DH as ended up in A&E a few times with asthma triggered by hay fever. The GP won't see him and the minor injuries unit where he used to get oxygen has closed.

I do think people use it inappropriately but I think they would be less inclined to if there was somewhere else to go.

Hatespiders Thu 11-Dec-14 22:01:31

I've twice been told to either phone an ambulance or get myself to A&E when my dh rang the after-hours doctor 'service'. I had severe vertigo and couldn't lift my head off the pillow. The second time my dh had adult chickenpox which became serious with high temp and a chest infection. I was told to get him to A&E (infectious!) I should think A&E are sick of having people directed to call an ambulance etc when a home visit would be best. But have you ever tried to get a home visit these days? The last time I had the vertigo thing, my neighbour managed to get a doctor to come out, but we had to wait five hours. It's ridiculous, but there's no other option if the surgery's closed and no-one will come out to you.

ghostspirit Thu 11-Dec-14 22:02:36

I did take my daughter a&e a couple of times with pulled elbow. i thought it was something only a&e could deal with it was only because i thought i really cant be arsed to go up there again and i took daughter to gp and they sorted it there. but then also no one at the hospital told me that the gp could deal with it.

raltheraffe Thu 11-Dec-14 22:07:42

We also had one young lady who fancied a paramedic so called 999 twice a week with various complaints, until another paramedic told her that his colleague was gay.

We had one guy who used to lie down in the road outside the local night club and claimed he had been in a hit and run and could not move his legs. As soon as he got to A&E he was triaged into majors and then got up and disappeared. On the third occasion he did this the charge nurse got suspicious and called the police.

Police pulled CCTV from hit and run and there was no hit and run. He came out the club and just lay down on the street moaning.

Turns out he lived on the next road to the hospital so was using the ambulance as a free taxi home. Police charged him for it.

ghostspirit Thu 11-Dec-14 22:08:32

maybe it depends how the gp works in the area. with my gp i have sometimes just spoken to them over the phone said what the prob is and picked up prescription from reception. for emergency appointments you call at 8.30 the doc calls you back within an hour or so and talk to them over the phone and they decide if you need an appointment or not and they give you one that day.

Pishedorf Thu 11-Dec-14 22:10:53

My favourite was the guy who came into A&E in the early hours because he had woken up from a nightmare.

Other great uses of A&E include the lady who was stung on the finger by a wasp 2 days ago but 'wanted to get checked out', the lady in her 40s (and completely sane) who had started her period (at the expected point in her cycle) and wanted to get checked out...

A&E remains one of my favourite rotations I've worked in. I miss it years later.

Pantone363 Thu 11-Dec-14 22:14:35

Yes yes yes.

And bringing nan and auntie and Sheila from down the road with them because the toddler bumped his head. Then demanding a CT scan because they've watched far too much Casualty.

tallulah Thu 11-Dec-14 22:15:17

We used to live in Kent. A couple of times we ended up taking baby DD to A&E because the GP had no appointments for weeks. The Doctor at A&E told me that with a young child they were happy to see them, because they can go downhill so fast, but that he would be phoning my GP to complain.

Now we live somewhere where we can always get an emergency appt at the GP the same day plus there are walk-in centres.

One of the problems though if you feel ill over the weekend or late evening, if you ring NHS Direct they always tell you to go to A&E. (I don't mean colds, sore throats etc, but severe pain of unknown origin)

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