Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire A&E 'not for hiccups and broken nails', clinicians warn

Accident and Emergency department and finger nails Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A broken false nail may be an emergency for you, but it is not what the NHS considers a life-threatening injury

People with broken finger nails and hiccups have contributed to "unprecedented numbers" turning up at a hospital's emergency department.

Peterborough City Hospital's A&E department has seen 40% more patients than usual this week, including a woman who had broken a false finger nail.

A&E should only be used for genuine medical emergencies, the hospital and its clinical commissioning group said.

This does not include a case of the hiccups, they said.

"On Sunday and Monday our staff treated some 700 patients over the two days, which equates to 40% more patients than the usual average attendance," Neil Doverty, chief operating officer at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said.

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More patients than expected were also brought in by ambulances.

"On Sunday we received 133 ambulances, 33 more than predicted. On Monday staff received 104 ambulances, 14 more than predicted."

Mr Doverty appealed for people "to think about the treatment they need before they come to A&E".

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