Hospitals in east Kent are currently extremely busy, caring for large numbers of people who are seriously ill.
The onset of winter weather has resulted in a surge in attendances at A&E particularly by older people and people with lung problems, many of whom need to be admitted for inpatient care.
The NHS has robust plans to provide the right treatment for people who are seriously ill but is appealing to people who don’t have a serious or life-threatening illness or injury to avoid going to A&E and to seek care elsewhere.
It is estimated that between 15 and 25 per cent of people attending A&E could be treated by another NHS service.
If you have a health problem and are not sure what to do or who to contact, please use the Health Help Now web app which lists services and gives health advice and information for east Kent: www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net.
If you need medical help fast but it is not a 999 emergency, ring NHS 111.
East Kent Hospitals covering Ashford, Canterbury and Margate are struggling to cope with patients coming to Accident and Emergency. It's particularly bad at the Kent and Canterbury where they're dealing with almost 200 patients a day.
That's double the usual number. NHS Managers say only people with life-threatening and serious illnesses should go to A and E.