People living in Airedale were among the most likely in England to go to major accident and emergency departments last year.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre’s findings have led health bodies to remind people only to use the service in genuine accidents or emergency.

The HSCIC looked at how many people visited a major A&E department, broken down by the now-defunct Primary Care Trust areas.

For every 1,000 people living in the Bradford and Airedale area, 339.3 visited A&E, compared to a low of 19 per 1,000 in Luton and a high of 424.8 per 1,000 in the Manchester PCT area.

Bradford and Airedale PCT was ranked 27th out of 151 across the country. Nationally, there were 18.3 million attendances at A&E between April 2012 and March 2013, a four per cent increase on the previous year. Of those, 55,721 were at Airedale Hospital.

In the district, as across the country, under-nines and those aged 20-29 were most likely to use A&E at both hospitals.

Dr Andrew Catto, executive medical director for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A&E is for accidents and emergencies only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing and broken bones.”