Patients attending A&E with no obvious medical condition cost the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust (UHMBT) more than £500,000 last year.

In 2019-20, NHS Digital data showed roughly 5,955 admissions had a primary diagnosis of 'nothing abnormal detected' at UHMBT – costing the trust £673,000 over the period – and accounted for five per cent of all emergency activity.

The NHS says A&E is for serious and life-threatening emergencies, with patients urged to call 111 for other urgent illnesses. Across all trusts in England which provided figures, as £178 million was spent on 1.1 million non-urgent A&E attendances in 2019-20. Many people anxious about their health have 'no alternative' but to use A&E for treatment, says the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM).

Dr Adrian Boyle, vice president of the RCEM, warned there are 'many reasons' why someone could attend an emergency department and then be discharged with no serious diagnosis made.