More than a quarter of visits made to accident and emergency departments in England are made by people who cannot get an appointment with their GP, research has found.
A study by Imperial College London revealed that almost 5.8 million trips to A&E stemmed from patients who had unsuccessfully tried to meet with their family doctor.
Around 58% of patients questioned at an emergency department in a London hospital admitted they were there because it was "quicker than getting a GP appointment".
A large majority of those patients' ailments could have been managed by a GP or emergency nurse practitioner, the research said.
More top news
Paracetamol is ineffective at treating back pain, Australian researchers say.
Madonna says she still cannot bring herself to watch footage of the moment she fell on stage while performing at the Brit Awards.
Ed Miliband has pledged to give zero-hours workers the right to convert their contract into a regular job after three months.