Health and social care services across Somerset have reached the highest level of demand known as a ‘system wide black alert’.
The county's Clinical Commissioning Group are asking members of the public to think first before calling a 999 ambulance and to attend hospital A&E with only minor ailments or illness.
The appeal comes the day before before the next junior doctors strike scheduled for tomorrow (9 March).
Additional hospital beds have been opened in local community hospitals, like Bridgwater, to relieve today’s additional demand, much of which is arising from the high numbers of hospital admissions from the frail elderly.
Members of the public with only minor ailments and illness can help themselves by the choosing:
- SELF CARE AND PHARMACY - Treating themselves with over the counter remedies from their local pharmacist.
- NHS 111 - Calls to the NHS 111 telephone helpline are free and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
- MINOR INJURY UNITS - Somerset has minor injury units at seven of the county community hospitals in Minehead, Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, West Mendip Hospital (near Glastonbury) Shepton Mallet, Frome, and Chard.