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A woman turned up at a Kent accident and emergency department seeking treatment for a broken fingernail, an NHS trust has revealed. NHS West Kent said the woman, who attended the A&E over a recent bank holiday, was "not admitted and politely sent on her way". The trust said another person asked to be admitted because their new tattoo was red and sore. It is urging people to think carefully before they seek emergency treatment. NHS West Kent, which said it had experienced a 7% increase in patient numbers over the past two bank holidays, warned that people with minor ailments could stop others from getting "life-saving care".
A&E staff were also asked to hand out repeat prescriptions, according to the trust. Nikki Luffingham, of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: "Please think twice this bank holiday before seeking emergency care for minor ailments. "Our A&E departments are highly specialised places for patients who need urgent medical attention and potentially life-saving care. "By seeking the right kind of care, you are not just helping yourself but dozens of other people we will be seeing in our A&E departments at the same time who really need our help." NHS West Kent has urged people to contact NHS Direct to find out what service would be appropriate.