A&E, urgent care and ambulance services in North East under 'extreme levels' of pressure
People are being warned that A&E, urgent care and ambulance services are still facing "extreme levels" of pressure.
Patients across the North East and North Cumbria are being told to only call 999 or visit A&E if their condition is a threat to life or limb.
Patients can expect long waits as services focus their attention on the most urgent cases.
Dr Neil O'Brien, executive medical director for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: "In common with the health and care system across the country, our A&E and ambulance services are under huge pressure.
"We are working hard to ensure that patients who need emergency care are seen as quickly as possible and are prioritising patient care as best we can based on their need."
NHS leaders are encouraging people to get vaccinated against flu and Covid, as levels of hospital admissions due to the illnesses are rising.
Dr O'Brien added: "The risk of serious illness and hospitalisation from catching flu is very real. Hospitals and critical care units across our region are currently seeing a worrying number of patients being admitted due to the flu virus.
"It's not too late to have your flu jab and doing so will protect against severe illness and hospitalisation.
Young children are not likely to have come across the flu virus before, and could therefore become much more unwell.
They can be protected with a free flu nasal spray that is available for all children aged two and three from your local GP practice.
"Flu vaccination reduces the chance of kids and adults spreading flu to vulnerable loved ones."
Where to go if you need help
For life-threatening emergencies like chest pains, breathing difficulties or severe loss of blood, come forward for the emergency help you need.
If you need advice for an everyday illness or injury, contact your local pharmacy or look at the self-care advice at www.nhs.uk. You can also check your symptoms at www.111.nhs.uk, which will re-direct you to a health professional if you need treatment.
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