People with horsefly bites among those going to Devon A&E departments

Patients are being urged to consider going to the pharmacy for issues like bites and pain relief, instead of A&E

People have been attending emergency departments with complaints including horsefly bites, hospital bosses in Devon have said.

Patients are being urged to consider going to the pharmacy, instead of A&E, for issues like bites and pain relief.

A spokesperson from NHS Devon CCG said: "On one night this week in one of our EDs there were 10 people with horsefly bites.

"Treatment for this starts at home and further advice can be sought through a pharmacy.   If you attend ED, but could be seen more appropriately by a different service, you may be redirected there.”

The advice comes after record breaking temperatures, rising Covid rates and the start of a busy summer break are putting huge pressure on health services in the South West.

The spokesperson also said the pharmacy would be the most appropriate place to seek help for issues like period or constipation complaints, simple pain relief, dressings and sutures and lost or forgotten meds.

They added that for long-term injuries like four-month history shoulder pain or three-month-old foot injury, the best place to go would be either your GP or self-referral to a physio.