THERE is an awful NHS “merry-go-round” involving staff shortages, wrong use of A & E and bed blocking due to insufficient community care that’s causing mayhem.

The number of people waiting four or more hours in A & E at the Royal Bolton Hospital was branded “unacceptable” yet there are still hundreds of people using our accident and emergency department who are plainly suffering from neither.

The hospital faces major challenges trying to recruit enough personnel and the dilution of community care means elderly patients cannot be discharged from hospital.

Only time and more resources will alter NHS employment as perceptions alter and only a massive sea-change in public opinion will persuade many local people to understand that treating A & E like an alternative GP’s surgery doesn’t help anybody. Please, use the out-of-hours’ service and local pharmacists in the first instance for many general ailments. And get some common sense.