With winter pressures on the NHS leading to a 'black alert' being declared by 10 hospital trusts, members of the public are being continuously advised to seek treatment elsewhere before considering the A&E department for ailments or illnesses.
Health officials have announced that 'routine' hospital appointments are being deferred to help hospitals .
This is being upheld at Royal Cornwall Hospitals, Taunton & Somerset Foundation Trust, Yeovil District Hospital Foundation Trust and Royal United Hospitals Bath.
The drastic step is to try to free up hospital staff and beds.
So what other options do you have if you're not feeling well?
Members of the public with minor ailments and illness can:
- Administer self-care by going to the pharmacy - A local pharmacist can provide over the counter remedies
- Dial 111 - Calls to the NHS telephone helpline are free and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year
- Go to minor injury units - there are centres available in Bristol, Clevedon and Yate offering treatment of minor injuries such as strains, sprains and broken bones.
Advice from your GP comes first. Please go to an A&E department if your GP or any other healthcare professional advises you to do so.