‘Help! I’ve got a splinter in my finger!’: Strange A&E attendances at King George Hospital revealed

King George Hospital

King George Hospital - Credit: Archant

One patient visited A&E with a splinter in their finger and another turned up with a buzzing noise inside their ear, it has been revealed.

The trust behind King George Hospital and Queen’s Hospital has released details of the shocking attendances as pressure on both emergency department mounts in the winter.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), revealed receptionists had met one patient who arrived asking for prescription tablets after being unable to get a GP appointment and ambulances had been called for people with toothache.

The trust is asking people to reserve the emergency room for urgent injuries and illnesses.

Clinical director for emergency care, Dame Prof Donna Kinnair, said: “It can be frustrating to see so many people coming to A&E with relatively minor concerns, such as splinters or small cuts, when they could be treated more quickly and appropriately elsewhere.

“By accessing healthcare at the right place, at the right time, this ensures that every patient can be seen as quickly as possible.”

Anyone with contagious coughs, colds, the flu and vomiting and diarrhoea should stay away from the hospital to avoid infecting others.

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Statistics reveal that of the 26,452 ambulance calls in Redbridge, 3,654 could have been avoided between April 2012 and January 2013.

Redbridge CCG is urging people to visit walk-in centres, GPs or call the 111 NHS helpline for advice for non-urgent treatment.