The city’s A&E department faced an “unprecedented” 40 per cent rise in the number of patients turning up this week.
On Sunday and Monday 716 people attended Peterborough City Hospital’s Emergency Department for “wide and varied” reasons.
Now, fearing problems during the four day Easter break, health chiefs are again urging people not to head straight to A&E but seek alternative treatment, as it’s revealed some patients have in the past turned up with trivial problems including paper cuts.
Chief operating officer Neil Doverty said A&E demand had been unprecedented. He added: “Our greatest priority is to treat patients who require our urgent attention.
“If your condition is not urgent, or if you are unsure about the severity or urgency of your condition, call NHS 111, visit your local chemist, GP or the Minor Illness and Injury Unit at the City Care Centre in Thorpe Road.
“We also run a minor injuries unit at Stamford Hospital which is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays.”
The city hospital said if the condition of a patient attending A&E is ‘non-critical’, they are advised to take an alternative treatment route. But a spokesperson added: “If the patient states that they would prefer to remain in the Emergency Department, then it is their choice to wait to be seen.”
The hospital was said to have remained “extremely busy” on Tuesday.
It has also “engaged extra staff” over Easter and is running an internal campaign called ‘Breaking the Cycle’. This is to check that everything possible is being done to reduce a patient’s length of stay in hospital.
The top 10 reasons why residents in Peterborough unnecessarily use A&E has also been revealed.
Top of the list is a broken false finger nail that would not come off. Other reasons include needing emergency contraception, a shaving cut that was not visible, a paper cut and a sore throat.
Dr Neil Modha, chief clinical officer at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said, “When you use A&E and you don’t need to, it puts a huge and unnecessary strain on the NHS.”