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Funny films convey serious message

Festive parties make the last Friday night before Christmas notorious as the busiest shift of the year for 999 teams.


This year, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, meaning hospitals and ambulance services are preparing for two of these “Mad Fridays”, on both 16 and 23 December.


Drink-related injuries can often raise a smile, but they are no joke to those who suffer them, and there is a serious message behind a series of funny films to be released by the NHS. We need people to make sure that they choose the right NHS services if they need treatment this Christmas and New Year, so that they can be seen quickly and efficiently, and so that A&E and 999 teams across the country are free to deal with life-threatening and serious conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, serious accidents and breathing problems.


The aim of the films is to raise awareness nationwide of the impact of unnecessary A&E attendances, and to highlight the abilities of local pharmacists to provide advice and treatment for minor complaints.


In the last 12 months, unnecessary visits to A&E cost the NHS in the North West £21 million. Let’s make this winter different.


Dr Mike Cheshire, Medical Director at NHS North West, said:

“These comedy films support Choose Well, a national campaign which encourages people to think carefully about their condition before they go to A&E. As many as one in four people who go to A&E units could use alternative facilities like pharmacies or GP surgeries, or don’t need any kind of treatment at all. These unsuitable attendances cost the NHS around £100 million every year.


“At Christmas, paramedics and A&E staff are under their most severe pressure. Patients continue to call on them unnecessarily, while those with avoidable injuries caused by excessive drinking make the waiting rooms very busy.


“At the same time, NHS staff are working hard to treat those with serious respiratory problems caused by the cold weather, as well as victims of accidents on icy roads and pavements.


“The Choose Well films released at the beginning of winter have given thousands of people a laugh, but also really made them think about how they use NHS services.


“At this time of year there is even more to think about. I hope the films will encourage people to choose their health services well, and also to drink sensibly at their Christmas and New Year parties. We all like to let our hair down at Christmas, but no-one wants to end up in pain from a drink-related injury when they should be enjoying their time off with friends and families.”


To view the films, please click the link below: