With accident and emergency departments at hospitals in Staffordshire under great pressure, the Trust that runs them is urging people to use correct alternatives.
University Hospitals of North Midlands, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust has declared a 'major incident', with unprecedented demand for A&Es.
So what can people do to avoid putting on extra pressure? The Trust is urging people to consider choosing one of these options instead:
- SELF CARE: This is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
- PHARMACY: Your pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment.
- NHS 111: This service has been introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free.
- YOUR GP: For medical advice or for illnesses you can't shake off. You should be able to get an appointment with your surgery within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. If your doctors are closed call your doctor's surgery and you will be transferred to the GP out of Hours Service
- WALK-IN CENTRES: Walk-in centres can be used to treat minor injuries and ailments.
- ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY: A&E and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. The Emergency Centre at the City General is located off Hilton Road and the A34, just south of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Attend A&E for anything classed as an emergency including choking, chest pain, loss of consciousness, severe blood loss, broken bones, difficulty breathing, deep wounds or a suspected stroke.
More than £5 million is to be spent tackling obesity across Nottinghamshire.
The money will be spent on lifestyle and diet education, community-based weight management programmes and treatment options.
It's estimated 166,000 adults and 20,000 children in the county are obese.
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West Midlands Ambulance Service say the recent frost and snow has led to an extraordinary demand for their services over the festive period.
It's prompted calls for people to only dial 999 in real emergencies.
Figures from Boxing Day and the weekend show a 13% rise in calls compared to last year.
Saturday was the sixth busiest day ever for the region's paramedics, with 3 and a half thousand calls. Michael Sibert reports.
A doctor from Shropshire who travelled back from Sierra Leone with a nurse who has been diagnosed with Ebola, has described the quarantine system as bizarre.
Dr Martin Deahl from Newport sat next to the nurse Pauline Cafferkey on the flight into Heathrow on Sunday. She's since been confirmed with the illness.
They'd been among thirty medics sent out to West Africa to help with the Ebola epidemic.
Today Dr Deahl told ITV news he thought it was illogical that he and the other volunteers were told they could take public transport home from the airport but then should avoid it for the next three weeks.
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