Our emergency departments are particularly busy at the moment. If you are unsure which NHS service is best placed to help you, please use NHS 111 to help you decide.

We have recently seen a lot of people with sickness and diarrhoea or flu-like symptoms attending our emergency departments. In the majority of cases, these symptoms are not an emergency and should be treated at home, using non-prescription medicines available from a local pharmacy.

By coming into hospital unnecessarily, you not only divert doctors and nurses away from very sick patients, you may also spread the virus you have to other people. You also run the risk of picking up additional viruses yourself, which you could then pass on to those close to you.

Think carefully about whether your illness is an emergency before you come to the emergency department – and if you are unsure, dial 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk for free advice.

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