Health leaders across Rugby and Warwickshire are urging people to use health services wisely as A&E departments across the region continue to experience extremely high numbers of attendees.
University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire is continuing to see large numbers of people, putting significant pressure on the local health system in meeting this demand.
However, as many as one in four people who go to A&E could care for themselves or use alternative treatment.
Health leaders say A&E should only be used for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, ingestion or poisoning.
They say people with minor injuries and ailments should not attend at the A&E department and are warned they will face longer waits than normal as more serious cases are prioritised.
People are being urged to use alternative NHS services where appropriate such as NHS 111, local pharmacies, and to make an appointment with their GP in the normal way.
A large range of common winter illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.
Health leaders say if people feel they do need help then it’s important that they make the most appropriate use of NHS services, including GP services and local Pharmacists.
Hospital staff are continuing to do all they can to ensure that everyone going into hospital who needs help gets the care they need but are urging people to help them by only attending if they really need to.