On a (I think) related note:
I was in A&E last Sunday because I was stupid enough to fall off my bike. I got a nasty 2" gash down to the bone on my elbow (which I knew would need stitches).
I was in there from 4pm until half past midnight.
Now I'm not in any way saying I'm more important than others (I'm not) but I'd say well over 50% of people I saw in there didn't need to be there.
Before you all (quite rightly) say 'how on earth do you know what other people are in there for' I will say: I saw 2 footballers who were limping very slightly. They were walking about freely, backwards and forwards to the vending machine etc. Chatting away happily with their gf's, not wincing, not going 'OUCH!' And a motocross guy, exactly the same.
Various other people too, obviously not in pain, moving about freely. Yes, there might be people with chest pains, yes there might be people with other stuff that isn't visible like a banged head, but by and large, a lot of people who seemed as if they could just:
a) get better by the power of their own body's desire and ability to do so by itself, or
b) go down the bloody GP's on Monday.
The politics of whether it's possible to get to see your GP is a separate issue, but which of course can impact on your ability to get medical care.
But FFS, I would never consider going to A&E unless I could barely walk or I was bleeding everywhere and even then, if I could deal with it myself or I was pretty sure something wasn't broken, then I would.
The other thing is why on earth people have got nothing better to do than sit in A&E under these somewhat underwhelming circumstances? It beggars belief.