I have unfortunately this year had to use A&E five times. Why? My surgery was unable to see me when I was unwell, so I battled on to work and ended up collapsing and being taken by ambulance to A&E. I felt really guilty taking up their time (even though I needed treatment) as I felt I could have been treated by my GP.
The staff are always kind, but you can see they are really stretched. While they treated the immediate problem, I was referred back to my GP to find the cause. It took another four emergency visits by ambulance before the tests were finally done which diagnosed my problem. Each time I spent several hours on Oxygen, or drips taking up their valuable time.
If there were more drop in centres for minor injuries maybe it would alleviate the strain on the A&E department.
I really feel A&E is being used as a catch all for a lot of problems which do not need to be treated there. If people can't see the GP it appears they turn to A&E when sometimes speaking to a pharmacist can sort out the problem.
Our surgery now has a notice on the door saying they are aware there is a problem getting appointmants with your GP - it has now been there two months with no change.