Students star in film to highlight NHS waste

Drama students from West Notts College are starring in an online film about where they see waste in the NHS, including patients stockpiling prescription drugs and using A&E departments inappropriately.

The college has teamed up with NHS Nottinghamshire County to produce the online film as part of the Big Healthy Debate campaign. The campaign highlights the tough financial challenges facing the local NHS and how local patients can use the NHS more efficiently.

The first year actors were tasked with making a film that raises awareness of the lifestyles that greatly cost the local health service.

First up in the light-hearted film is ‘Boozy Betty’ who drinks too much alcohol. In Nottinghamshire, the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions are rising (up 33% over five years) and around 200,000 working days are lost each year because of drinking.

It also features ‘A&E Annie’ who turns up inappropriately to A&E when she thinks there is something wrong with her baby. Last year, £6m was wasted when 100,000 patients turned up to Emergency Departments, but needed no treatment or tests. Such cases still trigger bills for the NHS.

Instead, patients should use the most appropriate NHS service. This could be a visit to their local pharmacy, GP practice, walk-in centre, NHS Direct or even treated by themselves, with basic self care, first aid and advice.

Another issue highlighted in the film by ‘DNA Danny’ is patients who do not attend their GP appointment, known as DNA (Did Not Attend). It is estimated that 66,000 patients missed their appointment last year, at a cost of £3m in wasted time and facilities.

Jess Chambers (19) from Worksop, said: “Being involved in this campaign was really interesting. Knowing we were acting for a public information video put the pressure on, but from my point of view, pressure makes me perform better.

“I have seen the finished edit of the video and it looks really professional and I am proud to have been involved in this health awareness raising campaign.”

Other students involved in the video are Sean Payne, Kerrie Rosser, Sharne Bailey, Cheryl-Anne Beastall, Kirsty Brown and Grace Malone.

To view the film, visit www.nottspct.nhs.uk and search for ‘Big Healthy Debate’.