A ST Helens actress is to star in a series of short films aimed at deterring people from mis-using accident and emergency wards.
Jennie Scully, who has appeared in Hollyoaks and the sit-com Trollied, plays a woman who visits hospital after suffering a disaster with her hair dye.
The NHS-commissioned films show a series of people turning up at hospital with non-medical problems and are designed to discourage frivolous use of emergency services.
The 26-year-old, from Ledger Road, Haydock, said: “It was a great experience to be involved in such a fun project, particularly one with such an important message behind it.
“When they described the character to me I actually said ‘where else would you go apart from accident and amergency if your head was tingling from hair dye.
“I probably would have done what my character did, because before this project I didn’t realise how much help people like community pharmacists can give.
“It was certainly a lesson learned for me, and I hope lots of other people will realise the error of their ways too when they see the videos.”
Figures released by the NHS reveal more than 400,000 people ‘inappropriately’ attended accident and emergency departments in the North West last year.
All of them could have been treated and advised by their local pharmacist or GP, or could have looked after themselves at home.
The videos are available on You Tube and will be distributed virtally through social media services.
It’s hoped they’ll be distributed by webusers who have the technology to share internet films.
Dr Mike Cheshire, medical director for NHS North West, said: “I’m delighted that so many North West actors have given up their time to take part in this venture. “The tales told in the videos are very funny, but the real joke is that they are actually based on true stories - lots of people really do arrive at A&E departments expecting to receive emergency treatment for broken nails, minor stomach upsets, and even medical examination of their pets!”