MORE than 1,100 people visited Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust A&E departments last weekend, making it the busiest weekend ever recorded by the trust.
And the demand on emergency services at the Alexandra Hospital and Kidderminster Hospital remains high with Worcestershire Royal Hospital particularly busy.
Now health chiefs are urging members of the public to only use Accident and Emergency services if they have a serious or life-threatening condition.
Those without life-threatening conditions should contact their GP, visit their local pharmacist or dial 111 for advice and support about alternative services, such as minor injury units.
Rab McEwan, the trust’s interim chief operating officer said: “Like many hospitals, we have busy times when people attending A&E may experience slightly longer waits than usual.
“Patients are always seen in order of clinical priority and our staff are working hard to see patients as quickly as possible.
“If you have a friend or family member in hospital, you can also help us by making you’re easily contactable and ready to collect your friend or relative when it’s time for them to be discharged. This frees up valuable beds for new admissions.”
Deb Critchley, interim urgent care lead for Worcestershire’s doctor-led clinical commissioning groups added: “A&E departments are often seen as the first place that people go, when in fact there are other NHS services that may be more suitable, such as a local pharmacy, GP practice or minor injury unit.
“If you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency you can call NHS 111, which is a free service and which can provide medical advice and direct you to the most appropriate local health service.”